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Legal Memorandum: Effectiveness of Waiver

Issue: In order for a waiver to be effective, must a party be given meaningful opportunity to consult an attorney?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts
Keywords: Waiver; Opportunity to consult an attorney
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 400 F.3d 370; 433 F. Supp. 2d 538
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2007

The Walker v. Ryan’s Family Steak Houses, Inc., 400 F.3d 370 (6th Cir.) court reasoned that, although the agreement purported to afford the plaintiffs the opportunity to take the document home or to consult an attorney, they in effect did not have such an opportunity.  400 F.3d at 382.  Similarly, in Ostroff v. Alterra Healthcare Corp., 433 F. Supp. 2d 538 (E.D. Pa. 2006), the plaintiff was told it would be futile to consult an attorney because she would have no power to alter the terms of the agreement, after she asked if she could review it with an attorney.  433 F. Supp. 2d at 544.  The federal court found that this demonstrated it was a contract of adhesion.  Id.

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