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Judicial Disagreement Over Contract Ambiguity: When Are Things OBVIOUS? By Stacey Lantagne, ContractsProf Blog


We’ve been talking about contract interpretation in my Contracts class lately and I’m always struck by how many cases involve a lower court ruling of ambiguity and then an appellate court reversal of that ruling, because it always strikes me as such a funny thing. The very definition of ambiguity would seem to be ‘multiple people disagreeing on the meaning of the word,’ but the appellate court decisions in those cases necessarily have to dismiss the reasonableness of the lower court’s understanding of the meaning in order to assert that the meaning is SO OBVIOUS.