Checklist: Drafting Effective Releases
Why Read This
A release is a multipurpose risk management tool that can educate signors about the potential risks of an activity while benefiting sponsoring educational institutions as well. A signor who is injured during an activity that is covered by a release may be less likely to bring a claim. Releases can also act as leverage for negotiating the settlement of a claim, or to persuade a court to dismiss a negligence lawsuit.
This checklist contains guidelines for revising or drafting effective releases and can highlight areas where modifications may be necessary. Tips include:
- The release should describe a voluntary activity and be narrowly tailored and specific to the activity it covers.
- The potential signors of the release should be identified.
- None of the potential signors should be a minor.
- All of the potential signors should understand English.
- The institution’s legal counsel should write or review the release.
- The name of the institution and the party signing the release must be accurate.
- The activities constituting the subject of the release should be described with sufficient detail.
- The activity’s start and end dates must be correct.