Monday, December 30, 2013

"I" is Ambiguous?

A recent case out of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals involves contract construction and, specifically, whether "i" denotes a lower case I or the Roman numeral "i," known as a romanette (Interestingly, the word "romanette" is not capitalized.). 

The district judge determined that the "i" is a romanette, creating a subpart 8(h)(i) in the contract.  The circuit court disagreed, finding that the "i" is a lower case I, designating section 8(i) of the contract.  According to the circuit court, the confusion was caused by an indentation error that lawyers who proofread the contract failed to catch.  The circuit court left open the possibility that extrinsic evidence might show that the "i" is really a romanette and, if presented, would create a factual question for the district court.

The case is Karmely v. Wertheimer, No. 12-3781-CV, ---F.3d---, 2013 WL 6403071 (2nd Cir. Dec. 9, 2013).

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