The Terms and Conditions for websites and apps act as a legal contract between your business and the users of the site or app you’ve created. If you want to protect yourself from lawsuits to the greatest extent possible, you need to work with an attorney to customize your Terms and Conditions to mitigate the risk you face when operating online. Given this, these contracts should be customized to the particular characteristics of your online property to make it clear to any party interested in suing you that the going will be rough.
Custom Terms and Conditions
Depending on the subject matter of your website or app, we need to draft critical language for topics including, but not limited to, the following:
- Mandatory Arbitration
- Waiver of Class-Action Lawsuit Rights
- Choice of Forum Clauses [make the suing party come to you]
- User Age Restrictions
- User Code of Conduct on Site
- Licensing for User-Generated Content
- Liability Waiver for Lost Passwords
- DMCA Policy and Agent Disclosure
- Codes of User Conduct Provisions
- Liability Disclaimers
- Waiver of Warranties
- Relevant Assumption of the Risk Statements
- Pricing Policies for Product Sales
- Refund and Return Policies
- Loyalty Program Terms, if any.
- Enforceable Update Clauses
I’m not going to lie to you. A person or company can sue any other person or company at any time. All it takes is a couple of hundred bucks. However, we can tailor your Terms and Conditions to quickly turn the tables on the suing party. Let’s consider an example.
You launch an online business selling a particular product. The business consists of an app and a website. Consumers visiting either of your platforms can purchase the product, but we require the person to check a box next to a statement reading, “Yes, I agree to the Terms and Conditions.” The consumers have now agreed to the requirements we’ve listed in your Terms and Conditions. Lawyers refer to this approach as a clickwrap agreement. Regardless, the important concept to understand is each buyer of your product must now comply with the language in your Terms.
Let’s assume you are based here in San Diego. A customer in New York purchases your product, claims it is defective and sues you in New York court for $50,000. We would retain counsel in New York to seek the dismissal of the lawsuit on two grounds – the Terms require all disputes to be heard in San Diego and the parties have agreed to resolve all disputes in arbitration. The New York court will rule in our favor, and dismiss the lawsuit. Is the consumer likely to travel to San Diego to pursue an arbitration action against you? It is possible, but unlikely. The cost and time would be significant. Also, retired judges decide arbitration cases, so any judgment against you is likely to be relatively low as judges do not factor in emotions when deciding cases.
So, what have we accomplished? We’ve won the lawsuit against you at minimum costs by using the Terms and Conditions to prepare a favorable battlefield for you. Your insurance policy should cover any legal fees, which means you are able to exit the litigation with a minimum of cost and fuss.
Terms and Conditions Lawyer
“When it comes to the internet, Rick is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys I’ve ever known. His advice is on target, his work is top-notch, and whenever I’ve had a problem he’s gotten results.”
– M. Smoke
Contact us today to learn more about the power of Terms and Conditions for websites and apps.
Richard A. Chapo, Esq.