Right is Right, No Matter Where You Find It: The Art and Skill of Contract Interpretation:
Bob Oberstein is uniquely qualified with over 50 years of Labor Relations experience on both sides of the table in both the private and public sectors and is the recipient of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director's Award for lifetime achievement in promoting positive Labor Management Relations. Bob was also the Director of the Labor Management Relations BA and certificate programs at Ottawa University, Phoenix where he developed and taught Labor Relations and Human Resources related courses on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Bob has several published articles to his credit in addition to his arbitration awards and has also been recognized in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Additionally, Bob has served on several boards, commissions, and panels where he participated in resolving or adjudicating all manner of workplace issues in a variety of industries. Moreover, Bob also holds a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane University's School of Law. Bob has and continues to serve the labor management community as well as other groups as an Arbitrator, Mediator, Facilitator, Investigator, Trainer and Educator. Further details about Bob’s unique qualifications can be found on his LinkedIn profile at Linkedin.com/Linkedin.com/in/boberstein
Your contract is not a book of “suggestions!” It’s a living, breathing legal document instructing you and the other party what you must and must not do. If either of you don’t follow it than the contract has been violated. But a contract’s direction is not always that simple, direct, or clear. And since the written word can be interpreted in different ways knowing what your contract is really saying may not always be obvious! But there are tools used by courts, arbitrators, agencies and others who interpret contracts which can demystify the process and rationale behind how to interpret a contract. This webinar will examine the many different guidelines and rules applied to both the skill and art of contract interpretation so attendees will not only have the tools to interpret their current contract but to also apply those guidelines for writing a more understandable/workable and clear contract for the future.
- How to read the contract as a whole
- Giving effect to all clauses and words
- The Plain Meaning rule.
- Interpretation based on language’s purpose
- Use of dictionary definitions
- Trade/technical terms
- Consistency of meaning
- Reserved Rights Doctrine
- Clear and unambiguous language
- Causes of ambiguity and conflict
- Effect of the unwritten contract: Custom and Past Practice
- Industry practice
- Effect of pe-contract negotiation & bargaining history
- Use of “Housekeepers.”
- Effect of prior settlements
- Weight of compromise offers
- Conflicting clauses
- Mentioning one thing excludes all others
- Specific/exact terms v general language
- Interpretation considering the law
- Duty of good faith and fair dealing
- Reason and equity
- Avoidance of Harsh, absurd, or non-sensical results
Who Should Attend
All level Managers, Supervisors, Human Resources, Employee Relations, Labor Relations, Attorney’s, and Union Officers/Representatives/Stewards, all levels of Law Enforcement or Security staff.
Why Should you Attend
It's one thing to think you know what the contract means BUT quite another to prove it to others! So, do you know what all the standards and tests are which agencies and arbitrators apply when it comes to interpreting a contract? Do you know how to protect yourself upfront by using the right type of contract language for the situation? Come and learn how to insulate your contract from misinterpretation (as much as possible) so it plainly states what you and the other party wanted it to mean and everyone else can also understand it that way. After all, the contract is the playbook, and the players should be able to understand it so all can act as one team!