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AMI 2413 Contract Interpretation—Ordinary Meaning

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 2413
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 24. Contracts
Contract Interpretation
AMI 2413 Contract Interpretation—Ordinary Meaning
You should give the words of a contract their plain, ordinary, and usual meaning, unless it is clear that certain words were intended to be used in a technical sense.
COMMENT
Ordinarily, it is the duty of the court in the trial of cases to construe a written contract and declare its terms and meaning to the jury. Wilkes v. Stacy, 113 Ark. 556, 169 S.W. 796, 798 (1914). A contract relating to the ordinary transactions of life is to be construed according to its plain, ordinary, and popular meaning. Id. at 797.
It is the duty of the court to construe unambiguous terms in an agreement according to the plain meaning of the language employed. Skokos v. Skokos, 332 Ark. 520, 528, 968 S.W.2d 26, 30 (1998).
In construing any contract, the court must consider the sense and meaning of words used by the parties as they are taken and understood in their plain, ordinary meaning. Crittenden County v. Davis, 2013 Ark. App. 655, 6 (citing First Nat. Bank of Crossett v. Griffin, 310 Ark. 164, 169, 832 S.W.2d 816, 819 (1992)). The best construction is that which is made by viewing the subject of the contract as the mass of mankind would view it, as it may be safely assumed that such was the aspect in which the parties themselves viewed it. Crittenden County at 6.
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