#1 By: Cory Doctorow, July 29th, 2013 18:03
#2 By: WotansWoodcraft, July 29th, 2013 19:24
Makhnevich Makhnevich Makhnevich Makhnevich?
Makhnevich Makhnevich Makhnevich.
#3 By: Tim Quinn, July 29th, 2013 20:15
I wonder what could have happened. Oh, by the way I have friend who just moved into town looking for a dentist practice to buy. Name's Jane Doe.
#4 By: SedanChair, July 29th, 2013 20:30
MEDICAL JUSTICE 2: DRILL HARDER
MEDICAL JUSTICE 3: BARELY LEGAL TOOL PENETRATIONS
#5 By: Boundegar, July 29th, 2013 21:40
$3000 to serve a summons? Where did they serve her, the international space station? I have a feeling Lee is going to end up holding the bag.
#6 By: technogeek, July 29th, 2013 21:45
It should go without saying, but: Anyone who would put that sort of contract in front of a customer is announcing that they expect to get complaints; that should be taken as a warning. Never sign without reading (or at least skimming), and if you don't like the contract say so and either get it fixed or find someone else to do business with.
#7 By: sqlrob, July 29th, 2013 21:54
Someone seriously avoiding a summons could rack that up. Didn't it cost some $15K to serve some of the Prenda officers?
#8 By: Tim Quinn, July 29th, 2013 23:38
I sit on the board of my HOA (ho hum) and can tell you, from dealing with tenants and owners, that there is a widespread belief that you are better off not reading the contract and claiming ignorance. It is a variation on the "it is better to apologize than to ask permission." approach to ethical quandaries. They seem to think that ignorance is protected by law. It may be true in some way even though it sticks in the craw.
I've even been advised by attorney not to read testing reports.
#9 By: technogeek, July 30th, 2013 00:17
There are specific situations in which plausible ignorance has value. For example: While I presume my house must have lead paint (it's too old not to have had it, and I don't see any evidence it was ever completely stripped), I've never actually tested so if I ever sold it I wouldn't have to declare it. Not that I plan to sell in the next two decades, or that I really think anyone else should have any doubt.
But in general, if you've actively signed something you are presumed to have read, understood, and agreed to it, unless you can make an extremely good case for it having been actively misleading or can show you were coerced into signing.
So I still say "don't sign anything you don't agree to, and don't assume you know what it says"... but I'll accept the addition of "unless you have expert legal advise the the contrary." And I mean a lawyer on your payroll -- no matter how much you trust them, you shouldn't assume you can trust their lawyer.
#10 By: awjt, July 30th, 2013 00:45
This is true. For instance, HR wanted us to sign our pay stub after the new fiscal year and send it back to them, to verify our new wage was correct. I didn't. The wage was correct. I said fuck no, the pay stub is mine I am not signing shit and sending you shit. What are you going to do, not pay me? You do not have to sign anything you don't wanna. So don't,
#11 By: Cory Doctorow, July 30th, 2013 01:07
The question being litigated wasn't whether he had read the contract, but rather whether the contract was invalid for reasons of "abuse of copyright" and "unconscionability."
You can read and sign a contract in which you waive liability in the event of gross negligence, or promise to kill yourself, or sell yourself into slavery, or promise to commit a crime against someone else -- it doesn't make the contract valid.
#12 By: snig, July 30th, 2013 02:19
Singing dentist of questionable judgement mysteriously disappears. Heard this one somewhere before...
#13 By: this guy, July 30th, 2013 05:30
Hello, first post since the new system was made. I like it!
I am just talking about general aspects of the law, and am not giving anyone, anywhere, any kind of legal advice.
I started writing about what I thought was going on here, but then I found the complaint, and there is actually way too much to get into in a forum post (and everyone would just TL;DR it anyways)
but, a couple of quick things:
This is not considered one of the defenses to contract formation. One is normally considered to have a "Duty to read" documents before they sign them.
Contract of Adhesion:
This is a contract that one is asked to sign, but is unable to negotiate any of the terms. It can, in some instances go to making an unconscionability argument, although modernly, it seems like basically every contract is one of adhesion (try scratching terms off of the contract when you buy a car. I did it a couple of years ago, and it did not go over well...) I don't know that this argument would get you all that far here really.
Anywho, interesting issue.
#14 By: Missy_Pants, July 30th, 2013 09:13
OMG, Amy is that you?
#15 By: Blue_Villain, July 30th, 2013 10:34
Baudzilla, your theory of Purposeful Ignorance only applies if you are judged to be someone who should be familiar with that sort of thing. It's a highly subjective thing, but if you're an attorney who knows better then you need to read everything you sign. Similarly, if you're a dentist that's going to another dentist for work, you should be knowledgeable enough to understand the written contract and are thus responsible for reading it.
But if you're just some nobody who comes in once or twice a year for a cleaning, have no experience with dentistry or reading or writing legal documents, the court can't possibly find you at fault for not understanding what you've signed. It's the same way a EULA has no legal bearing whatsoever.
Of course, that's all totally dependent on which judge you're standing in front of at the time. Which only reinforces the ridiculousness of the whole system.
#16 By: miasm, July 30th, 2013 13:37
#17 By: Daniel Johnson, July 30th, 2013 13:48
Wait, you're saying I may not have had to give my soul to the Devil?
#18 By: Cory Doctorow, August 3rd, 2013 18:03
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