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This note's on a very pedantic, potentially confusing point, but felt it should be stated for completeness's sake.

Say that someone blindly signs a contract without reading it. Then, should they be forced to comply with it?

This note's on a very pedantic, potentially confusing point, but felt it should be stated for completeness's sake.

Say that someone blindly signs a contract without reading it. Then, should they be forced to comply with it?

Say that someone blindly signs a contract without reading it. Then, should they be forced to comply with it?

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Note: On forced compliance in the presence of negligence

This note's on a very pedantic, potentially confusing point, but felt it should be stated for completeness's sake.

Say that someone blindly signs a contract without reading it. Then, should they be forced to comply with it?

Under typical law, yes. And under Libertarian logic, yes. But the reasons are very different, so wanted to clarify the distinction here.

In the Libertarian logic described above, if someone blindly signs a contract and can prove that they signed it without actual agreement, then that contract doesn't serve as evidence of an actual agreement and wouldn't be enforceable.

However, by having signed the contract, they'd have tricked the other contractual parties into believing that the blind-signer agreed. So while it'd be unfair to say that the blind-signer actually agreed, it's entirely accurate to say that they've defrauded the other contractual parties. Then as restitution for their fraudulent behavior, it'd be reasonable to require them to meet the apparent contractual terms.

The point here's just that the Libertarian logic works and reaches a very similar conclusion, though the path to that conclusion's different.

Note: On forced compliance in the presence of negligence

This note's on a very pedantic, potentially confusing point, but felt it should be stated for completeness's sake.

Say that someone blindly signs a contract without reading it. Then, should they be forced to comply with it?

Under typical law, yes. And under Libertarian logic, yes. But the reasons are very different, so wanted to clarify the distinction here.

In the Libertarian logic described above, if someone blindly signs a contract and can prove that they signed it without actual agreement, then that contract doesn't serve as evidence of an actual agreement and wouldn't be enforceable.

However, by having signed the contract, they'd have tricked the other contractual parties into believing that the blind-signer agreed. So while it'd be unfair to say that the blind-signer actually agreed, it's entirely accurate to say that they've defrauded the other contractual parties. Then as restitution for their fraudulent behavior, it'd be reasonable to require them to meet the apparent contractual terms.

The point here's just that the Libertarian logic works and reaches a very similar conclusion, though the path to that conclusion's different.

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  1. Courts can hold contractual clauses invalid when they seem to be in bad faith.

    "There are controls on what we call unfair terms," says Prof Hoernle.

    She says: "Clearly the courts now take into account that if there are unfair clauses hidden away in terms of service, it's more likely to be [deemed] unfair.

    "Is small print in online contracts enforceable?", BBC News (2013-06-06)

  2. Some legal documents require signing/initialing individual pages/clauses to strengthen the evidence of actual agreement to certain terms.

  3. When a contractual agreement seems particularly unusual, it'd be advisable to obtain stronger evidence of the agreement than just having parties sign at the end.

    The saving grace could be that companies are less likely to be able to enforce rules that are not "fair" if the person using the site is not made aware of them specifically.

    "There are controls on what we call unfair terms," says Prof Hoernle.

    She says: "Clearly the courts now take into account that if there are unfair clauses hidden away in terms of service, it's more likely to be [deemed] unfair.

    "The user has to be made aware of the terms of service and if there are any unusual or surprising terms of service, they have to be pointed out specifically to the consumer."

    "Is small print in online contracts enforceable?", BBC News (2013-06-06)

  1. Courts can hold contractual clauses invalid when they seem to be in bad faith.

  2. Some legal documents require signing/initialing individual pages/clauses to strengthen the evidence of actual agreement to certain terms.

  3. When a contractual agreement seems particularly unusual, it'd be advisable to obtain stronger evidence of the agreement than just having parties sign at the end.

    The saving grace could be that companies are less likely to be able to enforce rules that are not "fair" if the person using the site is not made aware of them specifically.

    "There are controls on what we call unfair terms," says Prof Hoernle.

    She says: "Clearly the courts now take into account that if there are unfair clauses hidden away in terms of service, it's more likely to be [deemed] unfair.

    "The user has to be made aware of the terms of service and if there are any unusual or surprising terms of service, they have to be pointed out specifically to the consumer."

    "Is small print in online contracts enforceable?", BBC News (2013-06-06)

  1. Courts can hold contractual clauses invalid when they seem to be in bad faith.

    "There are controls on what we call unfair terms," says Prof Hoernle.

    She says: "Clearly the courts now take into account that if there are unfair clauses hidden away in terms of service, it's more likely to be [deemed] unfair.

    "Is small print in online contracts enforceable?", BBC News (2013-06-06)

  2. Some legal documents require signing/initialing individual pages/clauses to strengthen the evidence of actual agreement to certain terms.

  3. When a contractual agreement seems particularly unusual, it'd be advisable to obtain stronger evidence of the agreement than just having parties sign at the end.

    "The user has to be made aware of the terms of service and if there are any unusual or surprising terms of service, they have to be pointed out specifically to the consumer."

    "Is small print in online contracts enforceable?", BBC News (2013-06-06)

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