[conspire] But it's standard practice. And nobody's ever mentioned this before.

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Nov 1 09:30:51 PST 2006

Quoting Don Marti (dmarti at zgp.org):

> As soon as the parking lot and software lawyers started doing it, the
> rest had to try it too. 

You know, there's an old legal concept called "contract of adhesion":
Alleged contracts that rely excessively on boilerplate statements are
supposed to be regarded as _suspect_ (and thus in some cases
unenforceable) because there may not have been substantively an offer
and an acceptance (a negotiated agreement), as required by contract law.
As the 2nd Restatement on Contracts puts it:

  Where the other party has reason to believe that the party manifesting
  such assent would not do so if he knew that the writing contained a
  particular term, the term is not part of the agreement.

(This applies if the other party wrote the contract, and nobody 
could reasonably expect the disputed term to be present.)

Aside from that test, which relates to the state of mind of the
accepting party, there's also the "unconscionability" test, which is
basically the reaction of "Are you crazy?  That's not a reasonable
contract term; it's cramming reprehensible conditions down someone's
throat in a one-sided bargaining position."

Those guidelines aren't applied by all states; it'll probably require a
few more judges getting ripped off, for that to happen.

If the "contractor" in this case tried to weasel out of liability in
court, I'd actually have a pretty good case for utter lack of
opportunity to negotiate, given that I was handed the wavier form at the
last possible moment, and a day after my cheque was cashed.

> > Sgt:  We've recently recovered some gear burglarised from businesses
> > here in Sunnyvale, and it includes a $FIRM model 2230, S/N [blah].
> > We were hoping you could look up the purchaser for us.
> Did it turn out to be a social engineering or real?
It _was_ the real thing, as it turned out.

> alt.fan.stanley-milgram department:
> http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051009/NEWS01/510090392

I'd call that unbelievable, but only in the rhetorical sense.  I see
that blame-the-victim tactics continue to have fans:

  Restaurant owners and police often said they assumed the caller and
  victims were in cahoots in a bizarre scam to extract settlements from
  individual franchises.


  In court papers, McDonald's also has blamed Ogborn for what happened
  to her -- saying that her injuries, "if any," were caused by her
  failure to realize the caller wasn't a real police officer.

Restaurant owners could not possibly say "We were fooled by a hoaxer,
and regret the way we treated our employee as a result", right?

  In a brief interview, Nix insisted that he -- like Summers -- thought
  he was following a policeman's orders.

I'm actually a little unclear on how much one is legally required to
"follow a policeman's orders", if not detained or arrested -- after, of
course, checking the badge and identity cards.  I figure that using my
best judgement, and in some cases politely replying that I'll be glad to
do that if so ordered by a judge, is probably a reasonable approach.

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