Odds are you see the phrase “in our (or whoever’s) sole discretion” rather a lot in contracts lately.

It’s the lazy lawyer’s Get Out Of Jail Free card.

What it means, essentially, is that whatever it is is determined by means, circumstances, methods, decisions, or whims which are not in the contract, that you won’t be notified of, and likely not made aware of.

It’s rather like “for any reason or for no reason.”

You might see a phrase that reads something like: “[first party] can terminate this agreement if [second party] is found to be in breach of the terms of this agreement in [first party]’s sole discretion.”

That can easily be rewritten as:

“[first party] can terminate this agreement in [first party]’s sole discretion.”

or as:

“[first party] can terminate this agreement for any reason or for no reason.”

The term “in our sole discretion” essentially nullifies most qualifiers.

It’s lazy legalese, and eliminates the possibility of discussion, notification, arbitration or compromise.

Worth watching out for.

Categories: Culture, Law, Opinion.



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