CONTRACT CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLES: AMBIGUOUS VS. UNAMBIGUOUS CONTRACT LANGUAGE
Unambiguous Contract given effect & enforced as written: as a matter of law
The interpretation of an unambiguous contract is a question of law for the court. MCI Telecomms. Corp. v. Tex. Utils. Elec. Co., 995 S.W.2d 647, 650-51 (Tex. 1999). The court's primary concern in interpreting a written contract is to determine the mutual intent of the parties as manifested in the contract. Coker v. Coker, 650 S.W.2d 391, 393 (Tex. 1983). The parties' intent must be taken from the agreement, and the agreement must be enforced as written. Wells Fargo Bank, Minn., N.A. v. N. Cent. Plaza I, L.L.P., 194 S.W.3d 723, 726 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2006, pet. denied).
We favor an interpretation that affords some consequences to each part of the agreement so that none of the provisions will be rendered meaningless. Coker, 650 S.W.2d at 394. Unless the agreement shows that the parties used a term in a technical or different sense, we give the terms their plain, ordinary, and generally accepted meaning. Heritage Res., Inc. v. NationsBank, 939 S.W.2d 118, 121 (Tex. 1996).
Under generally accepted principles of contract interpretation, all writings that pertain to the same transaction will be considered together, even if they were executed at different times and do not expressly refer to one another. DeWitt Cnty. Elec. Co-op., Inc. v. Parks, 1 S.W.3d 96, 102 (Tex. 1999). This rule, however, is a device for ascertaining and giving effect to the intention of the parties and cannot be applied arbitrarily. Id.
SOURCE: Dallas Court of Appeals - 05-09-00586-CV - 5/18/11