It is rare seemingly obscure phrases from law school find their way to the news, but recently, that was the case with the phrase “force majeure.”

DTN Photo by Emily Unglesbee

When Bayer announced it would be declaring force majeure in contracts related to glyphosate, there were many questions about what these words meant and the legal impact of a force majeure clause in a contract.

Emily Unglesbee from DTN Progressive Farmer interviewed me on this topic and wrote a great article offering the details about force majeure clauses in contracts.

To read Emily’s article, click here.

Additionally, this is a good reminder about the importance of reading every contract prior to signing, even the fine print like this!  With regard to force majeure clauses, there are two key issues to consider.  First, to which parties does the clause apply?  Does it apply to both parties to the contract–meaning that either can be excused from contractual obligations if the required events occur?  Or is it unilateral, meaning it only protects one party?  Second, consider the scope of the included triggering events.  Some may be very specific, while others may be extremely broad.  As always, I recommend having an attorney review any contract prior to signing to ensure your rights are protected.

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