Categories underneath Contracts:
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jul 21, 2013 Cries of Betrayal as Detroit Plans to Cut Pensions
QUOTE: Detroit’s pension shortfall accounts for about $3.5 billion of the $18 billion in debts that led the city to file for bankruptcy last week....Kevyn D. Orr, the city’s emergency manager, has called for “significant cuts” to the pensions of current retirees. His plan is being fought vigorously by unions that point out that pensions are protected by Michigan’s Constitution, which calls them a contractual obligation that “shall not be diminished or impaired.”
New York Times Jun 30, 2011 Two Rulings Find Cuts in Public Pensions Permissible
QUOTE: Judges in Colorado and Minnesota have dismissed court challenges by retired public workers whose pensions had been cut — developments that may embolden other states and cities to use pension reductions as a tool to help balance their budgets.
New York Times Apr 21, 2011 Not All Homeowners’ Policies Are Alike
QUOTE: The upshot, he said, was that such changes were “an indication that insurers are writing policies so they can deny claims whenever they want…” The National Association of Insurance Commissioners… has formed a working group to propose ways to make insurance contracts more transparent for consumers.
New York Times Mar 27, 2011 Ethical Quandary for Social Sites
QUOTE: The photos had been removed because he did not take the images himself, a violation of the site’s community rules… “That is totally ludicrous,” he said. “Flickr is full of accounts with photos that people did not take themselves.” Human rights advocates have also criticized Facebook for not being more flexible with some of its policies, specifically its rule requiring users to create accounts with their real names.
New York Times Mar 09, 2011 Wisconsin Senate Limits Bargaining by Public Workers
QUOTE: Democrats, meanwhile, condemned the move as an attack on working families, a violation of open meetings requirements (most of them did not know there was to be a vote until not long before), and a virtual firebomb in state that already found itself politically polarized and consumed with recall efforts, large scale protests and fury from public workers.
New York Times Feb 21, 2011 Why America's teachers are enraged
QUOTE: Thousands of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers have camped out at the Wisconsin Capitol, protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to reduce their take-home pay -- by increasing their contribution to their pension plans and health care benefits -- and restrict their collective bargaining rights.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 20, 2011 Amazon.com: The Wal-Mart of Android apps?
QUOTE: there's too much incentive for Amazon.com to undercut competing app stores as a way to drive business to its own....The net effect is that when you offer your apps on the Amazon Appstore, you agree to grant Amazon.com, in perpetuity, the right to offer a lower price for your apps than is available anywhere else
InfoWorld Jan 18, 2011 In Knotty State Secrets Case, Justices Ponder Telling Litigants to ‘Go Away’
QUOTE: The contractors sued, asking to keep the money and seeking $1.2 billion more. They said their work had been frustrated by the government’s failure to share classified technology. The government disputed that, but would not explain why, invoking the state secrets privilege.
New York Times Apr 25, 2010 Random House Cedes Some Digital Rights to Styron Heirs
QUOTE: After publicly staking a claim to the right to publish electronic versions of books that already have a long history in print, Random House appears to be letting go of digital rights to several works by one prominent author without a fight, potentially opening the way for other authors to take their e-books away from traditional publishers.
New York Times May 02, 2009 Fair Game: Students’ First Lesson: Beware Loans’ Fine Print
QUOTE: lenders do not disclose all fees charged in the servicing and collection of student loans, and loan contracts do not always include benefits that are promised in lender advertisements — like the possibility of a lower interest rate after graduation. Most troubling, some lenders ask students to sign promissory notes obliging them to pay off their loans before they are told what interest rate they will be charged.
New York Times Dec 26, 2008 Advice for renters if landlord faces foreclosure: 'Don't panic or stick your head in the sand,' says one credit expert
QUOTE: You're paying your bills, but your landlord isn't. And you're the one holding the eviction notice...Banks are booting good tenants onto the streets with little to no notice after seizing a property from a delinquent owner, ignoring tenant leases.
MSNBC Dec 18, 2008 Credit card holders livid about 'rate-jacking'
QUOTE: [credit card companies] have this provision that says they can raise the rate -- any time, any reason," she said. In September, Maloney got the House to pass by an overwhelming margin of 200 votes the "credit card holders' bill of rights," which would have stopped rate-jacking and the imposition of other fees by banks.
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 12, 2008 Auto Bailout Talks Collapse as Senate Deadlocks Over Wages: Without a Deal, Carmakers Face Bankruptcy Threat
QUOTE: The legislation would have provided emergency loans to General Motors and Chrysler, which have said they face imminent collapse without federal help. The high-stakes talks broke down over when the wages of union workers would be slashed to the same level as those paid to nonunion workers at U.S. plants of foreign automakers...
Washington Post Dec 09, 2008 Car Dealers Brace for Closings, or for a Fight, as Detroit Seeks Help
QUOTE: It is possible fights could erupt between some dealers and the auto companies. Virtually every state has stringent laws that make it difficult for manufacturers to alter dealer contracts, even when they abandon brands, as General Motors is talking about doing. These laws have been a big impediment to auto companies in the past as they sought to cut their dealer networks.
New York Times Dec 09, 2008 The $2 million penalty clause: One more outrageous EULA attempts to own your code and fine you $2 million
QUOTE: "For a completely over-the-top EULA, check out the one required to download an evaluation copy of School CheckIN (found at www.schoolcheckin.com)," says Tom. "By my reading, if one downloads the evaluation copy and subsequently decides to write up one's own in-house database to monitor student and visitor check in and checkout, you are required to turn over not only all your work, IP rights, code, etc., but to pay them $2 MILLION dollars!..."
InfoWorld Dec 04, 2008 Discounters, Monitors Face Battle on Minimum Pricing
QUOTE: companies scour hundreds of thousands of Web sites daily, looking for retailers offering bargains below the "minimum advertised price," or MAP, set by manufacturers on an array of consumer goods....For discounters, the consequences of not respecting MAP are usually speedy and decisive. If the seller is an authorized dealer of the product in question (which means it is bound to honor a MAP agreement), it gets a notice from the manufacturer or NetEnforcers and typically brings its price into line within hours
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Nov 28, 2008 An Amicus Brief: Issues in the Cyberbullying Case That Affect You - Updated
QUOTE: I was trying to figure out how to explain to you all that is involved in the case of the U.S. v. Lori Drew, the cyberbullying case that so many lawyers are expressing concerns about....I don't think it's overstating it a bit to say that unless this case is overturned, it is time to get off the Internet completely, because it will have become too risky to use a computer. At a minimum, I'd feel I'd need to avoid signing up for membership at any website, particularly MySpace.
Groklaw.net Nov 26, 2008 Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case
QUOTE: A federal jury here issued what legal experts said was the country’s first cyberbullying verdict Wednesday, convicting a Missouri woman of three misdemeanor charges of computer fraud for her involvement in creating a phony account on MySpace to trick a teenager, who later committed suicide.
New York Times Oct 30, 2008 The art and war of negotiation: What are you agreeing to when you sign a EULA? The Gripe Line finds out
QUOTE: "if there is any contract that is found to be 'unconscionable' by the court, they won't uphold it. The courts hate that sort of thing. How much software companies can get away with in a EULA is still an open question, though, one that probably has not been tested in the courts."
InfoWorld Mar 24, 2008 Arbitration and your rights on the job
QUOTE: Consumer rights advocates contend arbitration strips away your right to be heard in court and that a speedy decision isn't necessarily a just decision. "Flipping a coin is quick, too, but that doesn't mean it is a good way to decide the facts of a case," says [one San Francisco lawyer]. "This type of for-profit justice is a scandal. American citizens should not have their cases decided in secret tribunals with no right of appeal."
Bankrate.com Mar 18, 2008 Google’s Thin-Skinned Lawyers
QUOTE: Freedom of expression can be defined by what happens to the person with the most repugnant expression. Google may well find itself in a fight with someone printing information about the company or one of its executives that it strongly objects to. At that moment, in the middle of some drawn out battle, someone may be tempted to cut off the AdSense money to the offending site. At that moment, it could hold up the legal agreement as justification for that action.
New York Times Nov 24, 2007 Contracting? Cover Your Bases.
QUOTE: If you are planning to work with a construction or remodeling contractor, there are a number of steps you should take to protect yourself.
Washington Post Nov 17, 2007 Read Them, Or Weep: Condo Association Documents Give Buyers a Glimpse of the Future
QUOTE: Before buying a condominium, buyers are given a few days -- how long varies by jurisdiction -- to study what can be hundreds of pages of documents spelling out the community's rules and financial health. In those documents are nuggets of information as minuscule as the operating hours of the laundry room and as significant as plans for major construction, or pending lawsuits. It is during that period, before closing on a deal, that home buyers can walk away without risking the loss of their deposit.
Washington Post Nov 13, 2007 After Fires, Homeowners Feel an Insurance Pinch
QUOTE: As Californians recover from another season of devastating wildfires, one of the biggest obstacles is a painfully familiar one. As many as 40 percent of homeowners statewide lack enough insurance to cover their home-replacement costs, according to the California Department of Insurance, and most realize the problem only when it is too late.
New York Times Nov 03, 2007 Texas Proceeding With Plan to Auction Nature Preserve
QUOTE: The dispute pits the donors of the land, the Conservation Fund and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, against a pistol-packing commissioner adamant about preserving hunting and firearms rights on the property, even at the cost of denying the land to the National Park Service, although Texas ranks 44th in park land.
New York Times Oct 21, 2007 Make a Car Sale 'Final'
QUOTE: If you don't handle the sale of a used car or truck properly, it could come back to haunt you....In most cases, when you sell a vehicle, the new buyer immediately has it retitled in his or her name. If the buyer doesn't take that step, however, you might appear to still be the owner.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Sep 30, 2007 Your Home as the Group's Castle
QUOTE: Buying a home is already a complex endeavor. Add in the sometimes unfathomable machinations of a homeowners' association and you enter a realm filled with the potential for misunderstandings that may have legal and financial consequences.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Sep 03, 2007 Insurers Bear Brunt of Anger in New Orleans
QUOTE: Insurance companies may have paid out $11 billion to Louisianians in the two years since Hurricane Katrina, but they have also become a new villain in the tales people tell about the slow recovery here. Every neighborhood is full of horror stories about companies that reneged on their promises, offered only pennies on the dollar in settlements, dribbled out payments, deliberately underestimated the costs of repairs, dropped longtime customers and sharply increased the price of coverage.
New York Times Aug 18, 2007 Static Mounts Over Cellphone Contracts
QUOTE: Most cellphone owners find themselves committed to two-year service contracts with wireless companies, facing hefty fees for an early escape. But as customer satisfaction with these firms continues to slide, consumers are taking more drastic actions to shed their contracts.
Washington Post Jul 19, 2007 NATION IN BRIEF: Contractors Decry Late FEMA Payments
QUOTE: some politicians fear that the red tape will discourage companies from bidding on the big rebuilding projects that lie ahead for New Orleans.
Washington Post Jun 28, 2007 A Call for Competition: As No-Bid Deals Soar, House Panel Wants More Oversight
QUOTE: Roughly half of the money spent on all federal contracts in 2006 was awarded with little or no competition, according to a congressional report released yesterday .... No-bid contracts alone amounted to $103 billion in 2006, a 43 percent jump from the previous year, the report said.
Washington Post Jun 07, 2007 A crusade against bad EULAs
QUOTE: Foster's chief gripe against EULAs is their anticompetitive nature...Foster has never understood the need for a license agreement. "Copyright law applies to software whether you have a EULA or not,"
WindowsSecrets.com May 22, 2007 Side Deals in a Gray Area
QUOTE: Big-boy letters...are widely used and represent a private contract between presumably sophisticated investors. Lawyers agree that big-boy letters do not technically shield either party from insider trading laws, but rather protect the two parties from suing each other.
New York Times May 21, 2007 In Suburbs, Locked Into a High-Tech Lure: Fiber-Optic Service Disappoints Many, but Contracts Span Decades
QUOTE: Seven years ago, the neighborhood's homeowners association, set up by the developer Van Metre Homes, inked an exclusive deal with OpenBand, a small Dulles firm, to provide Internet, cable and phone service to all 1,100 homes. Residents say they are now locked into an expensive, decades-long contract for second-rate services.
Washington Post May 17, 2007 Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec charge cards repeatedly
QUOTE: the practice of enrolling customers in automatic renewal for antivirus and other security products is not limited to Symantec. Indeed, it has become an industry standard. Microsoft Windows Live OneCare, Symantec, McAfee, and ZoneAlarm all enroll customers into the companies' automatic subscription-renewal programs with the purchase of a subscription-based product. In most cases, customers aren't given a choice to opt out, and only find out about the annual renewals when they receive an e-mail notice or see a charge on their credit card.
WindowsSecrets.com May 15, 2007 9th Circuit Panel Faults O'Melveny for 'Take It or Leave It' Hiring Clause
QUOTE: In striking down the agreement -- which applied to all of the 1,044-lawyer firm's employees, including its associates -- the panel found that several distinct areas of the agreement violated California law....gave employees an illegal "take it or leave it" choice by saying that employees unwilling to sign the agreement must leave the firm within three months.
Law.com Apr 07, 2007 Seeing Other Agents
QUOTE: Designed to ensure that the agent receives a commission if he or she has anything to do with the transaction, contracts are not easy to break. Sometimes they even stipulate that the agent is due the commission for a certain period of time afterward....Stark recommends that if you're unhappy with your agent to talk to his or her broker or manager. Your contract is with your agent's brokerage, not the individual agent...
Washington Post Jan 17, 2007 Oil Lease Chief Knew of Error, Report Asserts
QUOTE: A top Interior Department official was told nearly three years ago about a legal blunder that allowed drilling companies to avoid billions of dollars in payments for oil and gas pumped from publicly owned waters....Interior officials could have fixed the mistake far more easily if they had taken action when they first recognized it.
New York Times Jan 14, 2007 Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs
QUOTE: The term “crippleware” comes from the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit, Melanie Tucker v. Apple Computer Inc., that is making its way through Federal District Court in Northern California. The suit contends that Apple unfairly restricts consumer choice because it does not load onto the iPod the software needed to play music that uses Microsoft’s copy-protection standard, in addition to Apple’s own.
New York Times Dec 26, 2006 In Chile, Precious Lands Often Go for a Pittance
QUOTE: "...a mining company will negotiate with a local landowner, and the landowner will later say he didn't get a fair deal. The company will say it paid a fair market price, but in those remote Andean mountain areas, there's no real land market and it's difficult to say exactly what a fair price would be."
Washington Post Dec 09, 2006 Locked In, No Exit in Sight: Many Rueful Buyers Try to Escape Builders' Ironclad Contracts
QUOTE: some consumer advocates and real estate lawyers who have been fielding calls from remorseful buyers in recent months say few contracts are as rigid and one-sided as those for new home sales. Prepared by builders' attorneys, the contracts are "written in a way to give every possible edge to the home builder," said Allen J. Fishbein, director of credit and housing policy at the Consumer Federation of America.
Washington Post Dec 01, 2006 Too late to renege on car purchase
QUOTE: A right of rescission in a contract gives you a cooling-off period where you can walk away from the deal. It's normal for homeowners to have this right when they use home equity loans to tap the equity in their homes, but isn't standard fare on the purchase agreement for a new car.
Bankrate.com Oct 01, 2006 When to Propose a Prenup
QUOTE: while most twentysomethings don't need to take up the testy subject of signing a prenup, there are some situations in which younger couples may want to consider one...
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Oct 01, 2006 The Wedding Is Off. Who Keeps the Ring?
QUOTE: By tradition -- and law in many places -- wives generally hold on to the wedding jewelry when a marriage ends in divorce. But does that same standard apply to a failed engagement?
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Sep 17, 2006 Tips for Purchasing a House With a Pal to Save on Rent
QUOTE: buying a home is risky -- in part because it's a large investment that can take a lot of time and expense to sell. And in an arrangement where two individuals are linked by nothing more than a deed and a mortgage, the risks and complications are heightened.
Real Estate Journal Aug 24, 2006 Picture this: Wise tenants take precautions
QUOTE: I write more columns on landlord-tenant disputes than on any other kind of business transaction...two simple things can short-circuit later disagreement over the property's condition: taking pictures and filling out forms that describe the condition of the property today.
Hook Jul 27, 2006 Verizon Hits Unlimited Users With Limits
QUOTE: The EVDO offering from Verizon Wireless has been touted by the company as an "unlimited" service; instead, the service is very much limited...using Verizon's EVDO broadband service like a broadband account violated a little-known clause in the terms of service.
WebProNews Jun 03, 2006 Vonage in Predicament After Public Offering: Solicitation May Have Been Faulty
QUOTE: ...Vonage may have violated securities laws by offering its customers the shares on an Internet site that failed to provide a link to a prospectus, a legal document detailing to prospective investors all aspects of the stock offering, including any risks. Many customers who made a commitment to buy shares began to complain that they shouldn't have to honor that contract.
Washington Post Jun 01, 2006 Vonage May Seek Payment From Balking Share Buyers
QUOTE: Vonage...customers were given the chance to buy as much as 15 percent of the shares. Some 9,000 customers took the company up on the offer but after the share price plummeted, a portion of the investors have now balked at paying for shares they committed to buy.
New York Times May 25, 2006 Expectations Clash in Dating Service Lawsuits
QUOTE: from Great Expectations...the old-fashioned, non-Internet dating service suckered them into paying thousands of dollars, and then refused a refund...
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