How Arbitrators Interpret Contracts

I suspect that most issues of contract interpretation call for the application of what Stefan Vogenauer has termed “universal hermeneutic truths”—that is, the search for meaning by going no further than “common sense” and how language is “commonly and naturally deployed.”  An arbitrator does this not only by worrying the text of an agreement, but more broadly by attempting to identify the underlying narrative—the sense of the transaction. These are universal lawyerly skills.  And should an agreement run out of guidance for settling a dispute, a further step would move from interpretation, as commonly understood, to the process of filling … Read more