Yet Another Instance of Semantic Ambiguity: “Salary”

The case of Citgo Petroleum Corp. v. Ranger Enters., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58676 (Conn. Mar. 17, 2009), revolved around whether, as used in the context of a separation agreement, the word salary included bonuses. A careful drafter would want to avoid any confusion on that score.

By the way, I don’t intend to devote a post to each instance of syntactic ambiguity I encounter. But it’s a good idea for drafters to become attuned to the possibilities for confusion inherent in the most basic words, and I don’t think were yet at the point where the topic has become tedious.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.