Parol Evidence

Definition - What does Parol Evidence mean?

Parol Evidence is a common rule used in cases to prevent a party from presenting extrinsic evidence that clarifies or discloses an ambiguity. It provides the merger clause that strengthens the presumption; according to this the written document is complete with full expression of both the parties on the agreement. It generally consists of verbal promises that are executed before the written agreement. However, the additional terms include that the side agreement should not be disclosed in the court, once the merger clause is added to the agreement.

Petropedia explains Parol Evidence

The Parol Evidence rule can be applied to both Parol Evidence and extrinsic evidence. The courts can dismiss a contract if any evidence shows that it was agreed on under influence or duress. However there are exceptions to the general rule, to resolve ambiguities and to establish contract defenses. The following are exceptions when the Parol Evidence is valid:

  • If the contract has subsequent modification.
  • If any related agreement does not contradict the main agreement.
  • If there is use ambiguous terms in the agreement.
  • If the contract was formed under fraud, mistakes and illegal issues.
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