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Legal Memorandum: Opportunity to Consult an Attorney

Issue: Is an offer to permit a party to consult an attorney prior to signing a contract sufficient when the offer is accompanied by the comment that "it will do no good"?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Employee Law
Keywords: Signing a contract; Consult an attorney
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 400 F.3d 370
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2007

The court in Walker v. Ryan’s Family Steak Houses, Inc., 400 F.3d 370 (6th Cir.) 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, 541 (E.D. Pa.), reconsideration denied July 25, 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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