GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION – General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Single Topic for Decision 1138E
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1404.03000 – General Principles of Contract Interpretation
The Board follows the California Civil Code in the interpretation of contractual language including whether contract language constitutes a waiver of the right to bargain. When contract language is ambiguous, the Board may examine bargaining history for evidence of a conscious abandonment of the right to bargain over a particular subject; p. 13. The rules of contract interpretation require that the intent of the parties is to be ascertained from the contract language itself, if it is clear and explicit; and an interpretation which gives a reasonable, lawful and effective meaning to all the terms is preferred to an interpretation which leaves a part unreasonable, unlawful or of no effect, citing Witkin; p. 15.