Interpretation and construction
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Interpretation and construction breaks down into:
- Interpretation: How one should generally construe generic phrases: should singulars include plurals; masculine include the feminine and non-binary shades between; should references to principals include their agent or even affiliates, should references to contracts, statutes and regulations be understood as originally executed/enacted or as subsequently amended from time to time — don’t giggle at the back, Blenkinsop Minor: this might seem obvious to the point of banality to you, but it keeps ERISA attorneys awake at night, and populates and animates their most gruesome nightmares.
- Construction: when approaching the semiotic task of construing these elegantly turned phrases, whether one should pay any attention to headings, and which prevails should one part of the agreement conflict with another — in a single unitary agreement, a bit of a bish, needless to say, but in a hierarchically-structured master agreement, part of the design)
- Definitions: Now there is one thing we all know. Commercial lawyers luuuuuurve definitions.
- Doubt as to whether a statute should be construed as amended is at the heart of ERISA netting problem.