Established 1958 ~ Hardball Business Litigation & Complex Negotiations

Philadelphia Business Lawyers: Contract Law

In Pennsylvania, courts will look at the “four corners of the document” to determine the intent of the parties when an issue arises with a provision in the contract. Generally, any evidence of previous oral or written negotiations or agreement involving the same subject matter as the contract is almost always inadmissible to explain or vary the terms of the contract. Yocca v. Pittsburgh Steelers Sports, Inc., 854 A.2d 425, 436 (Pa. 2004). This is called the parol evidence rule.

In Yocca, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reiterated that one exception to the parol evidence rule is that prior oral or written negotiations or agreements regarding a contract may be introduced to “vary a writing meant to be the parties’ entire contract where a party avers that a term was omitted from the contract because of fraud, accident, or mistake.” Another exception to allow parol evidence is to explain or clarify ambiguous terms of a contract. Id.

Philadelphia contract lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. are experienced in handing all aspects of business law and commercial litigation. Our dedicated team of commercial contract attorneys in Philadelphia assist clients in a wide range of complex litigation matters, including breach of contract. Call us at 215-574-0600 to schedule a consultation or submit an online contact form.