Monday, February 11, 2013

Navigating the perils of law review publication agreements

LloydRecently, a law review required me to sign a publication agreement providing, among other things, that I would indemnify the journal against even frivolous claims that were in any way connected to my article. Competing offers came with similar strings attached, and wanting to get my time-sensitive research in print, I reluctantly signed the agreement.

But a recent article titled Publish and Perish? Handling the Unreasonable Publication Agreement explains why such indemnity provisions are inappropriate. Professor Harold Lloyd of Wake Forest criticized them and other unreasonable provisions in law reviews’ agreements. As he pointed out, authors should not be required to agree to “warranties and representations beyond [their] reasonable ability to make.”  He encouraged professors to use his article to buttress arguments against overreaching by law reviews.


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I was somewhat shocked at the model publication agreement I received last cycle. It contained a number of seemingly unacceptable terms. However, when I asked my colleagues about agreements they had recently signed, most told me that they just signed whatever they were asked to sign.

But I pushed back and the law review was receptive to amending their standard agreement.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Feb 12, 2013 8:01:41 AM

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