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The use of the term “bi-monthly” (or “bimonthly”) in contract documents can be problematic because of ambiguity in the meaning of the term. The American Heritage College Dictionary (3d ed. 1997) and the online Webster’s Dictionary, available at http://www.websters.com, indicate that the word in adjective, adverb and noun forms may be used to refer to an event occurring either twice a month, or every other month. Both sources caution against the use of the term without an accompanying definition, or alternatively recommend substituting expressions that avoid the ambiguity. See also Gallardo v. Gallardo, 593 So. 2d 522 (Fla. Ct. App. 1991) (commenting that the “term ‘bimonthly’ is ambiguous and can mean either twice each month or once every two months”). Here is an example of a payment provision using the term “bimonthly”: During the Term of this Agreement, the Service Fees set forth in Attachment A shall be paid by Customer on a bimonthly basis. The following alternative versions of the payment provision avoid the ambiguity attending the use of the term, depending upon the drafter’s intended meaning: During the Term of this Agreement, the Service Fees set forth in Attachment A shall be paid by Customer on a bi-monthly (i.e. on the first of every other month) basis. During the Term of this Agreement, the Service Fees set forth in Attachment A shall be paid by Customer on the 1st and 15th of each month. This sample clause is intended to serve solely as an exemplar and may need to be modified to conform to the legal requirements of your jurisdiction. It in no way constitutes legal advice. Frank Pugliese is a partner in the New York office of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner LLP.

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