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Five Vital Questions to Determine Whether a New York Contract Is Clear


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1/1/2016
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When the language in a New York contract is ambiguous, parties may have a more difficult time pursuing an action for breach of the agreement. Unfortunately, there is not a black-and-white definition that dictates whether language is clear or ambiguous. Every contract is unique, and the analysis depends on the agreement’s surrounding facts and circumstances. If you feel that the party to your contract is in breach of the agreement, consult with an experienced New York business litigation attorney for guidance.

In a recent breach of contract action, Dennis Green, coach of the Sacramento Mountain Lions, alleged that the United Football League and its owners breached an agreement with him by failing to pay his salary or reimburse him for his expenses. The owners include Paul Pelosi and William Hambrecht. While Green asserts that Pelosi agreed to pay for his expenses, including the purchase of a new home and relocation costs, it is unclear whether this was outlined in the agreement. Under New York contract law, if it was clearly outlined in the agreement that Pelosi would pay Green’s expenses, then Pelosi could be found to be in breach. The court will analyze the following to determine whether the provisions relating to reimbursement of expenses was clear or ambiguous:

  • Did the language used relating to the reimbursement of expenses have a definite and precise meaning?
  • Is there any reasonable basis for finding that the provisions in question do not provide for reimbursement of expenses?
  • When the contract is read as a whole, does the provision appear to be clear?
  • Is the intention of the parties clear overall?
  • When reviewing the provisions relating to reimbursement, is the intention of the parties carried out if Green receives payment for his expenses?

Since every contract is unique, it is vital that you have an experienced New York breach of contract attorney in your corner to protect your legal rights. Call our office today at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation.



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