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How do we identify the requirements of determining what a factual matrix is in relation to answering problems in contract law?

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What is a factual matrix?

The term simply refers to the context and circumstances underlying the controversy. See BladeROOM Group Limited v. Emerson Electric Co.:

The courts will, in principle, "look at all the circumstances surrounding the making of the contract and available to the parties," otherwise known as the "factual matrix.

See also Warner v. Nutrien., LTD.:

this court must give the Plans "their natural and ordinary meaning.[...] That is, "what a reasonable person would have understood from the words of the document[s] read as a whole and from the factual matrix [of their formation].

For additional examples, search for the term in the results retrieved with this query.

How do we identify the requirements of determining what a factual matrix is in relation to answering problems in contract law?

That is a broad question for something that has to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Basically one has to identify the facts that are relevant to the intent, enforceability, effects, etc. of a contract for claims arising from a breach thereof.

An example discussing enforceability of a contract is Ecore International Inc. v. Downey, 343 F.Supp.3d 549, 481, 492 (2018):

the Ontario Court of Appeals reasoned: [...] The wording of the agreements and the overall factual matrix reveals that the de facto relationship between the parties was between Ecore and Downey.

The wording of the agreements and the overall factual matrix reveals that the de facto relationship between the parties was between Ecore and Downey

(emphasis added).

To determine relevance of circumstances, one can ask himself "in the absence of this circumstance, would the contract at issue have been any different?". The more significant the difference, the clearer the grounds for considering that circumstance an element of the factual matrix.

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