California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

316. Interpretation—Meaning of Technical Words

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316.Interpretation—Meaning of Technical Words
You should assume that the parties intended technical words used in the
contract to have the meaning that is usually given to them by people
who work in that technical field, unless you decide that the parties
clearly used the words in a different sense.
New September 2003; Revised December 2014
Directions for Use
This instruction may be given with CACI No. 314, Interpretation—Disputed Words.
See the Directions for Use and Sources and Authority to that instruction for
discussion of when contract interpretation may be a proper jury role.
Sources and Authority
• Technical Words. Civil Code section 1645.
• “The ‘clear and explicit’ meaning of these provisions, interpreted in their
‘ordinary and popular sense,’ unless ‘used by the parties in a technical sense or
a special meaning is given to them by usage’ [citation], controls judicial
interpretation.” (Cooper Companies, Inc. v. Transcontinental Insurance Co.
(1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1101 [37 Cal.Rptr.2d 508].)
Secondary Sources
1 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Contracts, § 745
13 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 140, Contracts, § 140.32
(Matthew Bender)
27 California Legal Forms, Ch. 75, Formation of Contracts and Standard
Contractual Provisions, § 75.15 (Matthew Bender)
2 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation, Ch. 21, Asserting
a Particular Construction of Contract, 21.22
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