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A specific amount stated in a contract or negotiable instrument (like a promissory note) at the time the document is written. a sum certain does not require future calculation or the awaiting of future happenings. example: “wanda williams will pay wilma jackson $10,000 for redecorating her house, including all costs,” is a sum certain as compared to “williams will pay jackson for time (at the rate of $50 an hour) and costs of materials for redecoration of williams’ house.”

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