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Chapter 6

PAROL EVIDENCE AND INTERPRETATION


ChapterScope

This chapter focuses on two areas dealing with the judicial construction of contracts: the parol evidence rule, and the interpretation of contract terms.

  • Parol evidence rule: The parol evidence rule governs the effect of a written agreement on any prior oral or written agreements between the parties. Simplifying somewhat, the rule provides that a writing intended by the parties to be a full and final expression of their agreement may not be supplemented or contradicted by any oral or written agreements made prior to the writing.
    • Subsequent oral agreement: The parol evidence rule does not bar admission of evidence of oral agreements made after the writing.
    • Interpretation: The parol evidence rule does not bar admission of evidence about the meaning the parties intended to give to particular contract terms.
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