What do I look for when evaluating releases or writing one?
If you are getting ready for your summer recreation business it is always a good idea to make sure your paperwork is up to date and ready to go. This is a checklist to help you check your release and make sure your release is doing more than wasting paper.
Not all of these clauses mentioned in the checklist may be needed. However, some of them are critical and they may all be modified based on your activity, program, employees, and ability to undertake the risks.
I’ve divided this checklist into three major parts:
· Required for your Release to be Valid: What is absolutely required
· Needed: What you should have for your release to be valid in most states
· What Your Release Cannot Have: What you should never have in your document
There are some subsections also that are fairly self-explanatory. This will probably not be in all releases, but may be required in your release based on what you are trying to accomplish or what you are doing.
Required for your Release to be Valid
Contract: The legal requirements for a contract are met if the release is signed
Updated Recently: Has your release been reviewed by an attorney in the past year or do you work with an attorney that updates you on changes you need to make to your release?
Notice of Legal Document: Does your release someplace on its face, give notice to the person signing it that they are signing a release or a legal document?
Parties: You have to identify who is to be protected by the release and who the release applies too.
Assumption of Risk Language: Does your release contain language that explains the risk of the activities the release is designed to protect litigation against.
Agreement to Assume Risks: Do your release have language that states the signor agrees to assume the risk
Magic Word: Negligence: Does your release have the signor give up their right to sue for negligence?
Plain Language: Is the release written so that it can be understood? Is it written in plain English?
Venue: Does your release have a Venue Clause?
Jurisdiction: Does your release have a Jurisdiction Clause?
Signatures: Does your release have a place for the signor to date and sign the release
Nothing in your marketing program invalidates your release.
Information to complete the continuing duty to inform
Items that may be Needed Dependent upon the Purpose of the Release
Product Liability Language
Release of Confidential Medical Information
Signor has viewed the Website
Signor has viewed the Videos
Signor has read the information
Signor has conveyed the necessary information to minor child
Reference to required Statute
Notice of Legal Document:
Opening/Introduction: Does your release have an opening or introduction explaining its purpose
Assumption of Risk Language
Minor Injuries Noticed
Major Injuries Noticed
Third party costs
First party costs
How Release is to be interpreted
Breach of Covenant of Good Faith
Permission to release medical information
Waiver of medical confidentiality
Waiver of HIV status
Statement as to Insurance
Incidental issues covered
Release language in Plain English
Agreement that the document has been read
Agreement that the signor agrees to the terms
What Your Release Cannot Have
Places to Initial
No heading or indication of the legal nature
No indication or notice of the rights the signor is giving up
Release Hidden within another document
Important sections with no heading or not bolded
Multiple pages that are not associated with each other
Miscellaneous Clauses your Release may Need
Electronic Signature Clause
Rental Agreement Clause
Understand use of Equipment
Accept Equipment As Is
Agree to ask questions about Equipment
Understand Demo Equipment has more Risk
More articles about releases.
If you are interested in a Professional Review of your Release please let me know.
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By Recreation Law Recfirstname.lastname@example.orgJames H. Moss #Authorrank
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