four corners of an instrument
The principle that a document's meaning should be derived from the document itself, without reference to anything outside of the document (extrinsic evidence), such as the circumstances surrounding its writing or the history of the party signing it.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

four corners of an instrument
n.
   the term for studying an entire document to understand its meaning, without reference to anything outside of the document ("extrinsic evidence"), such as the circumstances surrounding its writing or the history of the party signing it. If possible a document should be construed based on what lies within its four corners, unless such examination cannot solve an ambiguity in its language.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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