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lawyers, paralegals confidential secretaries, use standard form contracts (precedents and their precedents books) to start with and then write in modifications to the contract clauses.

Beware of them though, they are a minefield for laymen. You have to know the law and the specific field of endeavor to make effective intelligent amendments to a standard form contract, and come up with a contract document that is useful and reliable.

It has to be specific for the situation and the law of the jurisdiction that pertains. (state, & federal statute law and Common Law Jurisprudence).

I had a senior corporate officer "discover" standard form precedent books and then presume to have no further need of attorneys. Smarter and saner heads prevailed and pulled him away from the situation and his arrogant and ignorant misconception. The potential consequences of his dabbling could have proved catastrophic. (licensing contract are probably of he most arcane & vital area of the law. One deal cost a university close to 600 million dollars of potential patent royalty income. A general lawyer had written the contract and had the royalties calculated on the wrong item of income. (they got $60,000 total)

The law is not, solely, a repository of common sense. It is a lot more than that. 

That's why people go to law school &/or thoroughly study the law by themselves

Be careful.


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any form that a lawyer can write can and will be broken by another lawyer in half the time it took to write it in the first place.  Too many of my friends and fellow business owners have come out on the wrong end of Liability Forms.  That is why there are so many lawyers "Practicing". 

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I had written a document that was titled "Warning".  It is not a "Release" or a "Waver".  It is based on the Georgia law relating to Equine and Lama law and the You Pick It law.  I believe that the all inclusive over reaching "Releases and Wavers" commonly used are over reaching and contrary to public policy and most are likely to be overturned if challenged.  I believe that individuals and organizations are better off to use the wording in the article published by the Hammer's Arc. which is attached.



Let me know if I can help you or if you have questions.


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When I opened a fight school/club, I had an attorney do my LLC and school liability waiver.  I used the Dog Brother's Gathering warning (Crafty Dog also haven been a lawyer) as a base and asked him to make sure it covered what needed covering.  He laughed as he gave me the waiver, telling me the paper had more value then the waiver written on it.  He also told me that while it didn't give me any protection against lawsuits, it did have value in that it served as proof I had warned people of the dangers of letting someone punching you in the face.  Sounds like he and Mr. Coe have the same advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any lawyer is going to pick apart any document that is out there for liability exclusions..  It's their job and the more they can up the money return the more they can make.. 

Any honest person will not think 2X about doing anything if things have been explained to them before hand and that is what integrity and honesty should be..   I engaged in the activity on my own with full knowledge of it being or having dangerous times... No ones fault but my own, if I cut a finger off on a hardie left in the anvil or hit a bar in loose fitting tongs and lose my teeth or smash a finger crushing it.. Etc , etc..   But then people will get injured and start looking for a way out... Talking to friends and the friends will say Oh, that is terrible you got hurt while at the workshop..    You should sue for injuries and damages...  Ah, how long are you going to be out of work for crushing your thumb.. 11months..   Better off cutting the finger off or loosing some teeth..  I smashed my thumb between 2 metal plates nearly 2 years ago and it's still healing.. Was painful for nearly a year each time I used it.. But I can't take time off from work so just dealt with it..

Still has a spot in it where it won't work with the cell phones touch screen as the tissues are different.. LOL..

Anyhow,, Its the whole " Make someone think safety protocols and standards were not followed" and it really needs to be stressed time and time again that there is a group safety meeting before each class especially the first class.. I used to teach martial arts, scuba diving and pistol defense classes and each one used a standard form..  The one for the scuba and martial arts covered just about all bases except being blown up by a missile or being carried off by a whale.. 

In scuba I know 5 skilled people who have died in simple dives...    I know a few in the martial arts (not my classes) that got a finger cut off or stab wound with a knife or sharp tool.. 

It really becomes what the suing person believes they can get out of it.....      Not one of the people I know in the martial arts sued for the injuries..  but in the SCUBA the family members left behind did sue..   They all pretty much got nothing as the people died from what was deemed natural causes vs equipment failures..  But again, it becomes who accepts responsibility for themselves vs laying it onto someone else's back.. 

This is basically just a can of worms and again a Lawyer will tare anything apart.. But at least it's a start..    (for the martial arts I used to show slides of fingers on the floor, ears torn off and the such... LOL..   Not one of my students has anything more than a fat lip or a black eye or a skin prick from a sliver while climbing..

here is a copy of the Martial arts waver... I used to have all students sign one and get it notarized with witness on their own time after the first class which was very low key..  At each special session each student would have to sign a new one with the other students signing it for them as a witness..

GENERAL LIABILIT blank for web.docx

Oh, one other thing I nearly forgot.. We would go over the sheet in class together and talk about and discuss each box which needs to be initialed before even starting class..

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JLP; there is another twist to this in the USA.  Many Medical Insurance plans will not cover costs for accidents involving a 3rd party if you do not sue them for damages.  So you are sometimes left with the choice of losing everything you own to pay medical bills or sueing. 

The year before last I ran into this when I had a syncope and fell on a concrete floor getting a concussion and spending several days in the hospital ($50K) and the Insurance company was demanding I tell them *whose* floor it was. I kept pointing out to them that the owner of the floor had NOTHING to do with me passing out and hitting my head.  Their reply was that "they had insurance for things like that" and my reply was that they had nothing to do with my accident and their insurance costs should NOT go up because of it.  By continually reiterating that they were NOT involved I finally got clear of it---I hope.  I didn't want to see a small store I greatly enjoy getting put out of business because of me!

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Good point @ThomasPowers every power at be wants their pound of flesh as well..  What do you do then?   If we were to talk to the professional insurance people,  or lawyers or others they paint a picture of non productivity..  Anybody who actually sells their blacksmithing wares can be sued.(knives, nail rings, nails, hinges, etc, etc)..   Where does the insanity stop????

when or where does responsibility for ones own affairs take place again... You do it.. You own it..  I'm going back into my clam shell... :) 

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