We’ve blogged about multilingual contract translation services in the context of putting the agreement in writing. In international law cases, the issue of selecting a forum can come down to the interpretation of such contractual terms as ‘of’ and ‘in’ – showing just how important foreign language translation is in drafting international contracts.
For example, in the case New Jersey, et al. v. Merrill Lynch & Co., et al. the court looked at the language of a contractual provision that stated: ‘exclusive jurisdiction…shall lie in the appropriate courts of the State (of) New Jersey’. In the case, the issue raised was whether the clause contemplated jurisdiction in either the state or the federal courts of New Jersey, or whether what was contemplated was access exclusively to the state courts.
The court ruled that the parties had advertently waived relief in the federal courts, stating that the contract language provided exclusive jurisdiction in the appropriate courts ‘of the State of New Jersey’ rather than in the state of New Jersey. According to the court, ‘of’ indicates a possessive relationship. What this decision means in an international context is that, when drafting and interpreting foreign contracts, special care must be given to foreign language translations.