CACI 316 Interpretation—Meaning of Technical Words

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

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.

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 (11th ed. 2017) Contracts, § 768
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