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I can still remember when Party of the First Part and I fell in love. Our eyes met across the court room aisle and I knew he would be mine -- so I drafted a dating contract and got ready to negotiate. Let me tell you, there was some very valid consideration.
Of course, none of that is true because I'm not a sociopath. We can't say the same thing for all lawyers. One struggling Don Juan, Esq., was unfortunate enough to have his three page dating contract passed along to Above the Law. Apparently, the lawyer's lover didn't take the confidentiality clause very seriously.
A Contract of (Romantic) Adhesion
To be fair, dating isn't easy, especially for busy lawyers. At least contractual negotiation involves some face to face interaction -- maybe even some flirtation. That beats trying to hack Tinder in order to get someone to respond to your desperate "hey."
There's definitely something potentially cute and charming about drafting a contract for love as well -- in an awkward, Ally McBeal way. The contract at issue here almost reaches that potential.
The contract starts by reviewing the relationship between M.A.D. and K.E.H. (Above the Law mercifully redacted the parties' full names.) They are both Floridians, one from Boca, the other Miami. Now they're together in Broward County, planning on a date of "either a wine and movie night or dinner and drinks at a local establishment on Fort Lauderdale beach (the "'Beach.')."
Aww, young litigators in love. I'm almost anticipating their prenup.
From Cute to Creepy in Three Clauses or Less
Then the contract gets plain weird -- or lazy. Gone are any personal touches or hints of charm. Instead, it's contract boilerplate that any lawyer could whip up after 30 seconds on Google. Ladies: if he's not willing to customize the severability clause, he's not worth it.
Just how bad is the boilerplate? There's an indemnification clause, a force majeur clause, a choice of law clause, an arbitration clause. There's even a clause declaring that both parties are independent contractors and not looking to form an employment relationship. Forget the battle of the sexes, this is the battle of the forms.
There's no word on how the pair's July 29th date went or if it went at all. We're hoping that K.E.H. got her wits together and is holding out for someone who knows she's good enough for a fully individualized agreement.
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