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Attending Justin Bieber's latest house party just might just get you sued if you blab to your fellow Beliebers about how great (or lame) it was.
Bieber party invites apparently come with a mandatory non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that prevents the signing party from discussing or publishing any details about the party and its adorable host. Breaching the agreement may cost a guest $5 million in liquidated damages, TMZ reports.
Can Justin Bieber actually legally force his party guests to pay $5 mil just for talking about his party?
Celebrity non-disclosure agreements are actually a fairly common practice, and they serve to keep certain information confidential for a period of time.
Businesses often use these agreements to ensure that their valuable trade secrets and plans are not disseminated to the general public and particularly to their competition.
Similarly, The Bieb's NDA is attempting to have his guests keep quiet about Bieber's "business and personal activities," his health, and his philosophical and spiritual views.
How does free speech play into this? Remember that the First Amendment largely protects you from government laws and regulation that would restrict your speech, and not from contracting with private parties like Justin Bieber.
However, private contracts can be struck down as unenforceable if they place too much of a burden on constitutional rights, or if they are unconscionable.
A quick look at Justin Bieber's agreement shows it might border on unenforceable for two reasons:
Contracts often contain liquidated damages provisions in order to compensate one party when the other party fails to live up to the agreement.
According to Justin Bieber's NDA, $5 million dollars from party guests for talking about his party is a substitute for the difficult task of calculating the damages done from gossiping. However, a liquidated damages provision can be struck down by a court if it is viewed as more of a penalty than a future estimation of actual damages.
Given the unreasonably large amount in the NDA for liquidated damages, it is unlikely that sued Bieber party guests will actually be held by a court to write the pop star a $5 million check.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.