Tag Archives: legal rights

Churches: Don’t Let Your Lawyers Write Your Testimony

Tuesday Re-mix –

One of my kids attended a week-long camp last summer which happens to have been held on the campus of a prominent Baptist university.  The university doesn’t sponsor the camp.  They just contract with the sponsoring organization which actually operates the camp.  The university’s only part in the endeavor is to provide the facilities.  So, as I was filling out the paperwork for the camp,  there was a release which the university required to be signed by every participant.  No surprise there.  As an attorney who  makes a living representing corporations, churches and other organizations, I would recommend some type of release be obtained.  But here is some of the pertinent language in the release:

“I release [prominent Christian university]…from all claims…caused by the negligence of [prominent Christian university] [or] its regents, officers or employees…”

This is what we lawyers call an “express negligence” clause in the contract.  It is designed to escape liability even for your own negligent acts.  Allow me to translate this for you.  This says that, if a university employee assaults my daughter while that employee is on the job for the university, neither the university nor the employee will be responsible for it.  If the university’s administration is all aware of a building about to fall down on their campus and chooses to do nothing about it and it falls on my daughter, the university will not be responsible for it.  If the President of the university himself were to carelessly run over my daughter while driving across campus, neither the university nor their president will be responsible for it.  In other words, this university says, “You can send your kids to camp here if you want to, but don’t expect us to act like a responsible Christian institution.”

Couple of questions: …