Don't Mince Words When Drafting Time-Sensitive Contracts
Pay careful attention to your word choice when drafting or interpreting a provision of a contract providing for a time period during which something must occur.
For example, the phrase “30 days commencing with the Effective Date” can be interpreted differently from the phrase “30 days after the Effective Date.”
The first example can be read to include the Effective Date when counting the number of days, while under the second example the days being counted would commence with the first day after the Effective Date, resulting in a different expiration date for the specified time period.
It may be a good idea to confirm deadlines and expiration dates with opposing counsel to ensure both parties’ interpretations and calculations of time periods are the same so important deadlines are not mistakenly missed.