WOW!!!! So how much are you going to charge Syndicated Productions for showing how to write an effective contract.Originally Posted by sdl;3335917;Ok, my friends, I spent the last hour reading the Bachelor form contract and I'm going to give you my thoughts. If you hate all things lawyer, or this bores you to death, please skip this note.
* There are two schools of thought in drafting contracts - the one advanced by Thomas Jefferson and friends (wherefore, premises considered...) and people who have defended contracts after 1990 (plain English). The Bachelor contract fits into the first category, which means it is exceedlngly "gray," "dense" and hard to understand.
* the thing that many people don't understand about corporate America is that most big companies are not nearly as smart or powerful as one might think. Like anyone else, they have budget constraints and never does anyone say, "let's throw some money at the legal department!"
- the legal department is a backwater to the "revenue generating" divisions, poorly staffed and, comparatively speaking, not that well paid. Contracts, being the most mundane of tasks, fall to the youngest and least seasoned attorneys. That's why most big company contracts read like gibberish...this one is no exception.
- contracts are usually forms, which are recycled forever, cut and paste, by the 1st or 2nd year idiots told to prepare them, and so they are infrequently updated to adhere to current legal requirements, and rarely does anyone look at them to ask if they really make sense.
- the real value of a contract is that in all that legalese, there is something that some stiffy can point to and scare someone, but the actual piece of paper is often worthless.
* provisions of interest in the Bachelor contract:
- the parties are the person and "Syndicated Productions, Inc." No mention of ABC or whoever else is involved in the production of this show. Bad, because if you're not mentioned, you can't sue to enforce it.
- lots of releases of future problems that may arise - generally unenforceable because you can't release something unknown to you.
- retains control of all publicity, interviews, etc for one year following the FRC - this means that they have to approve interviews such as those we've read of Shannon, Naomi, etc. - which makes their content interesting.
- refers to an "Honorarium" paid to participants for agreeing to all of this, but the amount is not specified
- "Indemnification" language out of the 19th century - not valid in most states, including California, because it is not CONSPICUOUS and is fatally vague.
- liquidated damages provision specifies that Syndicated Productions has damages of more than $5 million if confidentiality breached. This provision has to be tied to some real loss, can't just pick a number, or it's unenforceable.
- sole remedy is arbitration...this goes both ways. In other words, Syndicated Productions can't just file suit. They have to go through the steps to take it to arbitration. Pretty weak enforcement mechanism.
**** The point of what I'm saying is that I read a lot of stuff on the board about ABC and their team of lawyers, and why people couldn't do something because of this contract...and it's all fiction. The contract is crap and the lawyers are weak, and never has ABC effectively enforced this document, because, well, good luck trying.