Thursday, October 29, 2015

Written Agreements Can Only Be Interpreted In Context

Puri Consulting Limited v. Kim Orr Barristers PC, 2015 ONCA 727:

[16]       As Doherty J.A. noted in Dumbrell v. The Regional Group of Companies Inc. (2007), 85 O.R. (3d) 616 (C.A.), at para. 51, "the meaning of [a] written agreement must be distinguished from the dictionary and syntactical meaning of the words used in the agreement." The meaning is derived from both the words used and from the circumstances in which the words were used. At para. 54, Doherty J.A. further explained that this consideration of the context "is not something that is resorted to only where the words viewed in isolation suggest some ambiguity." 

[17]       In other words, even where words in a written agreement are believed to be unambiguous, the meaning of those words can only be properly ascertained by considering the context in which the agreement was made.

Of the Law Societies of Upper Canada and Nunavut 

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