A release of liability is a form agreement whereby one party waives his legal right to bring a civil law suit against another for any damages he may sustain as a result of the wrongful conduct of the other party.
Since a release is a legal contract, to be binding it must satisfy the requirements for contract validity.
Requirements for Validity
A release will be valid as long as something of value is received in exchange for agreeing not to enforce a legal right against another party.
A release that is obtained due to fraud or misrepresentation by the party seeking the release is invalid and will not be enforced.
Settlement of Civil Suits
When a civil lawsuit is settled, it is common practice for the defendant, in consideration for making a cash payment to the plaintiff, to condition the settlement upon the plaintiff executing a release.
Release Precludes Further Litigation
The release precludes the plaintiff from ever filing suit against the defendant for the same cause of action in the future.
John Barron started freelancing in 2008. Barron writes articles on topics including law, business and finance for various websites. He is an attorney with over 22 years experience in all phases of civil litigation, and corporate and securities law. Barron received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Boston University and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School.