Brides dad is a lawyer, has questions about contract.

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by marcphotography, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. I need to know how to answer this brides father who love to pick apart contracts.

    Question 1. Is there a guarantee that we will be there on that date?

    Doesent this part pretty much say that?

    2. RETAINER: Upon your signature, Marc Photography will reserve the time and date agreed upon, and will not make
    other reservations for that time and date. For this reason, a retainer of 50% is non-refundable, even if the date is
    changed or the wedding cancelled for any reason; including acts of God, fire, strike and/or extreme weather. The
    retainer is to be paid at time of signing the contract. The retainer is applied towards the contracted wedding
    photography package. THE CLIENT understands and agrees that the entire amount owed for the wedding
    photography package described in the contract is due one week prior to the wedding date.

    Question 2. Will they be responsible for any equipment that a guest breaks and why wont insurance cover it.

    If THE CLIENT is unable to control the conduct of their guests, resulting in an unacceptable degree of misconduct, or
    if the conduct of any of their guests damages the equipment of the photographer, it will result in the early or
    immediate departure of the photographer. THE CLIENT understands that in such an event, no refunds will be granted
    and any damage to equipment will be the responsibility of THE CLIENT to replace or repair.

    How do I respond to someone like this? Those lawers think that everyone is out to get them. Should I just tell him
    to write some ammendments in to make him feel comfortable or what? I feel like he is going to sue me for everything
    I am worth if i make one wrong step. Frankly, I dont really want to deal with a client like that. What should I do?
  2. Question 1: If he thinks he needs better wording to guarantee your presence at the wedding have him suggest it. I would state that in your mind, your professional reputation is the best guarantee, but that yes, you interpret the contract to require your showing up.

    Question 2: Insurance does not usually cover intentional damage. If he is saying that no matter what the guests do, you are on your own, I'd walk. Ask if the reception hall would allow the guests to torch the place. My bet is no so why should they be allowed to trash your equipment.
  3. I would simply reply that terms are clearly stated in the contract and he can either accept them or not. It would be sort of polite but firm response that might get this client to back out of the sale (which is what you want, right?).

    My two cents.
  4. [[Doesent this part pretty much say that? ]]

    It doesn't address illness or other emergencies nor does it address any attempts on your part to secure another
    photographer in such case. You obviously cannot (and should not) guarantee your presence at the event, but
    perhaps he's looking for something that says you will make every effort to provide a backup should an act of God
    or some other extreme circumstance come about. I think this is a valid question.

    The photographer for the wedding of a friend of mine became seriously ill the night before the wedding
    (hospitalization, I believe, was the end-result). The photographer did arrange for a backup. I'm not saying
    this is something you need to or should do (your contract is up to you to) but it's certainly something I've
  5. Rob, I have that in another part of the contract.

    22. LIMIT OF LIABILITY: In the unlikely event of severe medical, natural, or other emergencies, it may be necessary to retain an alternative photographer. Marc Photography will make every effort to secure a replacement photographer able and/or willing to provide a similar package as chosen in this contract at the same/similar tariff. If such a situation should occur and a suitable replacement is not found, responsibility and liability is limited to the return of all payments received for the event package.
  6. Should equipment damnage be something that the client should cover or should I have insurance for something like that?
    His main concern was why my insurance wouldnt cover it.
  7. Ah, well then, perhaps he just can't read? :)
  8. *damage* whoops didnt mean to curse.
  9. My problem is that I do not currently have any business insurance anyways. I really need to look into it, right now I am in the process of going from Sole Proprietorship to LLC. Anyone got any suggestions for business insurance?
  10. IMO you're playing with fire to not have business insurance. Ask your agent if you can purchase a policy now and convert it to your business entity later.

    May I suggest that you consult your lawyer (not the internet) for good legal advice, before you have further dealings with this client. If you are concerned that the client-lawyer is unduly aggressive, your own lawyer can give you a counterbalance, either when you refer to having consulted or directly by having the lawyer talk to them. Also, your lawyer can give you confidence through proper, personalized legal advice that actually applies in your jurisdiction. In any event, the lawyer can help you shore up your contract if needed. Might cost you some money, but the amount might be a whole lot less than not getting the advice.
  11. It sounds like question 2 is your real problem.

    Just because you don't have insurance, doesn't mean you can't lay all the liability on the client if something happens to some of your gear.

    You should get a lawyer to rewrite you contract for you, and get business insurance.

    The only answer you can give him is that Yes, they're responsible if their guests break your equipment and your insurance doesn't cover it because you don't have any. Any other answer and he's going to know you're jerking him around.
  12. Sounds like a good answer Joseph. I have the feeling after she argues with her dad over the situation she will book us anyways. She wanted to sign the contract when she met with us but said her dad would be mad if she signed a contract without him looking at it.
    Insurance has been one of those things that I have been needing to do but never really got to.
  13. He has two good points. He's not paranoid, he sounds like a lawyer who might actually know the law. On Question
    1 he is likley looking for a specific contract - something like "I, the photographer, will be at the wedding location,
    specifically XYZ church, at 8 AM on Saturday, August 32, 2009..." On question 2 I'll bet he is poking at the fact that
    you cannot make him responsible for any action of a third party. He know that if it ends up in court you are the one
    likely to be disappointed because it is not reasonalbe for him to control the actions of others. Your gripe, in the
    unfortunate event of equipment damage, is between you and the individual who busted your gear, not between you
    and him.
  14. If he's being this way now, as in picking apart your mutual responsibilities and actions, aren't you concerned
    about how he will be once the event is over? Seems like he's finding any excuse to lay fault (and a lawsuit or
    demand for refund) on you for the slightest miss step such as failing to get a shot of Aunt Tillie tripping over
    the flower girl at the reception (while you're busy shooting the cake cutting) or a shot of one of his important
    clients/friends (whom you never heard about) who only showed up for fifteen seconds and then ran out the door.

    This guy may be totally legitimate in his concerns, but it sounds like he's giving you tons of clues that there
    is trouble ahead no matter what you do.

    Maybe a trip to the zoo with the wife and kids, a movie, a great round of golf or a fishing weekend might be a
    better option.
  15. I will give you an annology. I had a rare special problem and was sent to nationally known specialist for treatment. Dr. P is the best in a field and treatment was a sucess.

    My family doctor sent another person who must have had a lawyer as an advisor. He/she started asking all kinds of very specialized questions about what can go wrong and some very specific risks and how the doctor avoids them. These are questions no ordinary person would ask about.

    Sensing future problems, the doctor refused to accept the person as a patient. Result was they did not get treatment or got inferior treatment. Dr. P. did not get sued.

    I would suggest you find another client for that day.
  16. One of things I learned in my former photo business was not to take on potential problem clients even though the financial loss might have hurt, They are more trouble than they are worth. I know. It takes ten minutes with an insurance agent, at least that's all it took with me, to become covered so that you are protected when screening customers fails. IMHO, as said before, contract issues need to be taken on by a lawyer in your local jurisdiction.
  17. I'll also bet that he is poking at the totally undefinable phrase "...unacceptable degree of misconduct...". The father-of-the-bride seems to simply want full disclosure about questionabley stated terms, conditions, and risks. How does he know if you might find, for example, a little "dirty dancing" to be an "unacceptable degree of misconduct" and result in you walking off the job in a fit of emotional disgust? That sounds rediculous, of course, but given the exact words in your contract... who knows. :)
  18. I don't work as a photographer, but I do work in a small business.

    I recognizer the type, even if he was a plumber or a construction laborer instead of an attorney. Don't walk, run
    from this guy. You will not end up with a satisfied customer, even if you don't get sued, and you'll stand on
    your head to keep him off your back. The mere fact that he is a lawyer makes his already poor attitude even more
    alarming. What may take him 30 minutes of his time to file in court can cost you thousands of dollars to
    disprove. You will probably cave into the threat because it just isn't worth it.

  19. To my non-legal mind, it's unwise to enter into discussion about what the terms of a contract mean or don't mean, otherwise you very quickly find that your conversation has been subsumed into the contract and you've accidentally voided various bits of it.

    So my very polite answer would be that the contract stands on its own, and it wouldn't be correct for you to enter into discussion about it. I'm sure as a lawyer he understands that.
  20. "To my non-legal mind, it's unwise to enter into discussion about what the terms of a contract mean or don't mean, ..."

    Not picking on you Alec, but using your quote only to provide context...

    It is equally unwise for a service/product-provider to present legal-sounding contracts that (a) doesn't really have legal "legs" or (b) contain terms/conditions that the product/service-provider can't explain. How many times have we heard "just sign here... it's just the 'standard' paperwork... don't worry, it really doesn't mean anything but everyone signs it...etc."

    The burden of understanding is on both sides of a contract if it to serve its pupose. I, personally, wouldn't think of the questions as a major concern for future problems.
  21. Refund the money already paid you, suggest an alternate photographer and walk away.

  22. Going to the OP's questions.

    Question 1. No. The way I read it, the clause simply says you won't book any other business for that time.
    Note that there are studios, etc., that book multiple events and have more than one photographer or set of
    photographers, assistants, etc., available at any given time. So stating that you won't book other business for
    that time doesn't mean that you will be there.

    Is there something, someplace that says that you or a qualified representative, competent to perform the
    contracted business, will be there at the time/times agreed on?

    Question 2. Legally vague. How do you define "unacceptable degree of misconduct?" How does he define it"
    Your clause suggests that if you get unhappy, you are going to walk. Of course he doesn't like it.

    BTW, if you don't have your own business insurance, you could expect him to "fire" you or not hire you.

    If you don't understand what your contract says or how it applies, he's not the problem. If you've included (or
    copied) clauses that are unfavorable to him or his interests, then you could expect him to object. While not
    being a lawyer, I have worked a lot with contractual business agreements and things like "statements of work,"
    standards and specifications. It's not uncommon for some of the suggestions of contract language offered on
    these various forums or provided as copied from someone's own contracts, to be vague, unenforceable, or very
    one-sided. You take that language to a person who recognizes those pitfalls (for you or him) and you could
    expect some concern to be expressed.

    The contract needs to work for both parties, to protect both parties interests. "Bad" language is a problem for
    both parties if there is a problem later. That does mean that somethings are hard to define contractually.

    Seriously, if you entered a business contract of some sort for some kind of performance, and the other party told
    you they didn't have insurance, and that you couldn't take the contract to your lawyer for review before signing,
    would you really consider that?
  23. Just be glad you are not marrying that girl. Imagine how the husband is going to be scrutinized.
  24. Alright, thanks everyone for contributing to the answer. I am thinking that we may just pass on these clients.
    One of the reasons they liked us is becuase our prices are pretty low for our area. This is my first year doing wedding photography and we dont have the overhead to afford lawyers and other types of protection just yet. We are more concerned with forming a client base and getting referrals.
    I guess if us not having insurance is a problem for them they can find another more established photographer that can meet their needs.
    You cant get a 5 cent lemonade and expect the kids to have their lemonade stand insured if you back over it.
  25. Don't enter into an agreement with these people. I'm not sure what lawyers mean by "guarantees" but they always seem
    to ask about them. They must learn that in law school or something. In my profession I usually can't pick and choose my
    "clients", so when I run up against a lawyer type I say "no" to the guarantee question.
  26. Yes, pass on this one-run like Hell! They'll never be satisfied.
  27. In law school I was taught that when a potential client has unreasonable expections, or tries to negotiate the juice out of your contract of employment, show him the door. You don't need this headache, or any other headache that will crop up up to and after the delivery of the final product.

    Contracts general exist to keep honest people honest. This guy is trying get the upper hand.

    BTW, get some insurance.
  28. Wow... a lawyer who doesn't trust lawyers. I never thought I'd live to see the day. :)
  29. >>>Don't walk, run from this guy.<<<

  30. "...even if the date is changed or the wedding cancelled for any reason; including acts of God, fire, strike and/or extreme weather. "

    Being a retired military type, if either the bride or groom were to "deploy" under military orders, I would be inclined to refund the deposit. Good will is sometimes worth more than the "kept" deposit under any and all conditions.

    Common sense can't hurt.
  31. "you cannot make him responsible for any action of a third party"

    Yes he can. Its called a hold harmless clause. The entire purpose of such agreements is to make a party to a
    contract reposnsible for third party conduct. The legal philosphy is behind this is that it promotes commerce by
    enticing one to engage in economic activity where they ordinarily wouldn't if they assumed all the risks. If one side is
    willing to assume risk when the other side ordinarily responsible for the risk won't, they may decide to engage inthe
    transaction afterall. Its very common and routinely upheld.

    There seems to be an alarmist reaction by some to the guy's questions as the exist so far. They are not only
    legitimate, they expose gaping holes in the contract. Relax! The guy is practically doing Andrew a favor by raising
    these issues.

    First, the 'unnacceptable degree of misconduct' is extremely vague. A clear, concise and standard approach would
    be damage "caused by" wedding guests and vendors. The father just wants to know what the photographer wants so
    he can better advise if it makes sense to accept, negotiate a tweak (designed to fit the photographer's position
    and/or his daughter's) or just walk.

    The limitation of liability clause is very limited and does not answer his normal legitimate question. It only says that
    liabilty is limited when THE EVENTS LISTED occur. It does NOT say what happens if the photographer decides on
    his own to send someone else. It makes sense to limit liabilty if things are beyond a photographer's control. He just
    want's to know if the photographer doesn't believe he has to personally show for other controllable situations. Again
    this helps him better decide whether to reccommend his daughter accept, seek an adjustment or to walk.
    Personally, I would limit liabilty in all situations to the fee and expressly exclude consequential and inciental
    damages but agree to personally deliver the services absent reasons beyond control.

    As mentioned above Andrew, follow the advice of a lawyer in your jurisdiction instead of ours and certainly have this
    contract shored up by one. Where did you get that thing anyway?
  32. Brian, I trust lawyers more than I trust the general public. Lawyers have an ethical obligation not to use subterfuge to achieve their ends. Like calling my attention to clauses his client had "sneaked" into a contract hoping I wouldn't notice them (this actually happened).
  33. I don't see anything nefarious at the bride taking the contract to her father to review. My daughter is taking assistance from a grandmother and aunt while buying a house, one's a retired realtor, the other is in property management, I hardly consider this is attempting to take advantage of the bank that owns the property.

    Any money you save by not having good legal advice on your contract or by not having insurance will seem like small potatoes the first time you are looking across the table at a client's attorney. Insurance isn't that expensive - most of the nightmare scenarios don't happen but there are lots of little things going on all the time that an insurance policy will deal with.
  34. "Yes he can. Its called a hold harmless clause."

    I'm sure you are correct. But I've seen many episodes of Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, and Judge Extreme Akim where folks have sued in that type of situation and they were told to sue the correct party -- the one who actually broke the camera, car window, arm, etc. rather than the owner of the venue, etc. :)
  35. Tell him to call your lawyer?
  36. As to the comment that this guy is a good lawyer, I couldn't disagree more.

    Q2 is the worst - basically he's telling you that he doesn't want to be responsible for any damages that may be inflicted upon you. Tough luck to you, as it were. Basically, his attitude is that you should take a risk you have no way of assessing. He will know the guests for the most part, plus, as the father of the bride, he could easily curb any excessively unruly behavior.

    And the reference to insurance is just stupid. Insurance for party A is never there to protect to protect party B from the responsibility for damage which is their fault. It affects party B only if they refuse to or can't pay. And in that case, the insurer will go after B to recoup if it makes financial sense to them.

    This guy is bad news, but . . .

    While it would be delightfully fun to tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine, you're in business to eat, pay the light bill, keep the wife happy, etc.. I run a small business (not photographic), and I'll be the first to admit that we frequently take risks and do things that irk the daylights out of me and that are easy to say we shouldn't do because walking away from revenue can be the ultimate in self destruction. sometimes you gotta roll the dice and go with the odds, and just hope you don't crap out. And realize that if you do, there's always tomorrow.

    My thought process is to ask myself this. "What is the realistic worst case scenario?" Not the worst case scenario, the *realistic* worst case scenario. How likely is it? How bad is it? What are the consequences if it comes to pass, and how does that affect me? How deep would the damage be and what would I have to do to recover? What is the revenue relative to those risks? How hard would it be to replace that revenue?

    At the end of the day you just need to check your gut and make a decision. Given that you will be paid in advance, if I read the above correctly, I would tend to look at his issues and conclude that he's a self important doofus but no real threat.

    As to how to respond.

    On the insurance - "Sir, I pay for insurance to protect me, not to protect others from the consequences of their actions. Now I recognize that there will many guests there, and many you may not even know. And you certainly should not have to monitor their behavior on what is going to be a very special day for you and your family. But, if you are concerned about their behavior and damages they may cause, I would suggest that you look into event insurance to protect yourself from any unfortunate, unforeseen events."

    The fact that you do not have insurance to protect you is none of his business, and to mention that would only create an inappropriate distraction.

    As to the guarantee, "Yes sir, I am guaranteeing that I will be there. Of course, I can't provide a guarantee against unforeseen circumstances, and Section 22 of my contract addresses that."

    Those response suggestions assume of course that you intend to work with them. That's your first decision.

    Lastly, the counsel to consult an attorney is reasonable, but if you do (I'm not clear that you need it) the best piece of advice I ever got was this - "Never let a lawyer make a business decision for you". Actually - that's a paraphrasing - the original was "R" rated. ;-)

    You make the business decisions. It's your business. All an attorney can do is assess and quantify legal risk. They can't and shouldn't translate that into a business decision, though most in my experience try to play that role, but the good ones, and there are a lot of them, respect that boundary.

    Good luck on your decisions, and best wishes!
  37. first you almost never decline someones business. however, you may certainly make it easier for them to choose
    another photographer. second, do not negotiate a contract once it is presented, it will essentially bring into
    question the whole contract. After this experience if you feel the need for a change, do it before the next
    client. the lawyer will have greater respect for you and be less likely to pursue this any further if you simply
    refer him back to the contract for the answers. something like: in response to your question regarding the
    retainer, this is satisfactorily explained in section 2 of the contract... this is exactly what he would do if
    you were questioning his contract.
  38. >>>On the insurance - "Sir, I pay for insurance to protect me, not to protect others from the consequences of their
    actions. Now I recognize that there will many guests there, and many you may not even know. And you certainly
    should not have to monitor their behavior on what is going to be a very special day for you and your family. But, if you
    are concerned about their behavior and damages they may cause, I would suggest that you look into event insurance
    to protect yourself from any unfortunate, unforeseen events." & "The fact that you do not have insurance to protect
    you is none of his business<<<

    Who would want to hire someone saying something snotty like this? Hold harmless agreements should concern any
    potential client. Of course its his business. The potential client is being asked to insure someone against almost any
    sort of losses by caused by third parties. Its completely reaonable to wonder why his daughter is being asked to
    assume something like that. Read Joseph Harris' post. A straight forward answer is that there is none right now but
    that the these issues were a factor in offering a lower than usual fee. Economic adjustment for risk is something this
    guy will understand and maybe even accept.

    >>>As to the guarantee, "Yes sir, I am guaranteeing that I will be there. Of course, I can't provide a guarantee
    against unforeseen circumstances, and Section 22 of my contract addresses that.<<<

    One need not be a lawyer to figure out that the written contract is crucial. Lets look at what the proposed written
    contract actually promises... "Marc Photography will reserve the time and date agreed upon, and will not make other
    reservations for that time and date." Well, Marc Photography can be Andrew, agents of the company, substitutes,
    assignees (other businesses altogether) that show up and shoot at the assined place and time. This contract has
    more holes than Swiss Cheese. The client and her father SHOULD worry about whether the person they want
    shooting will show up and what they can expect if they don't.

    "he's telling you that he doesn't want to be responsible for any damages that may be inflicted upon you."

    Good grief, who would want to be responsible for ANY damages? The question itself seeks badly needed
    clarification. Hardly an evil plot.

    "his attitude is that you should take a risk you have no way of assessing."

    The client is the one being asked to assume risks. Not all the assement is on the side of the guests. What is the
    value of the pros equipment? Does he leave it lying around where someone (need not be a guest) can steal it?
    There's a ton of stuff that is unknown the other way. He just asked a question. No where is it stated that there are
    any demands.

    "This guy is bad news... ...While it would be delightfully fun to tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine"

    Just because he asked a couple questions that any other potential client may reasonably (and should) ask? Jeez.
    Just because the father is a lawyer doesn't make him some ruthless Machvellian scoundrel. If someone can't handle
    a potential client asking a couple questions like this, they may be better off closing shop and working for someone
    else that can. If the guy causes unreasonable expectations or conditions on his daughters part, then they can be
    sent on their way. Hurling vile comments at someone who done nothing wrong? Its really immature.
  39. Forget who's a lawyer, just look at the questions asked and what the agreement says, and think about the weddings you've attended.

    The retainer clause promises nothing about showing up at all, it "sort of" assumes it, but really only deals with payment. The limit of liability clause is also no guarantee that anyone will show up, only that best effort will be made, or a refund given (which is really all one can do)

    The clause concerning breakage might cause me as a client to look elsewhere. Obvious scenario at a wedding: photog leaves camera on table or tripod for "just a SECOND", five year old ring bearer or flower girl bumps it, it falls and breaks. I, the client, get bill for $2000. Ditto for a purely accidental punch spill. I don't think I would assume financial responsibility against all the potential claims of someone I don't know
  40. I disagree with the general response you've received so far - I don't see much in his questions to be concerned about. That a lawyer is asking two questions about a contract that has at least 22 sections isn't something to worry about IMO. His first question is a very valid one, as that section of the contract doesn't address it. I don't know enough to speak about his second question.
  41. bail before he has a chance to sink your boat.
  42. I feel that the only contract that should apply is the one made by the photographer's. Layer's will put their nose in anything!
  43. Okay, looks like you're getting some good advice here; but, I want to chime in.

    I agree that you shouldn't worry too much just because they are asking questions up front. It's people yelling at you
    afterwards that would count, cost you grief, and maybe get you embroiled in a dispute. People asking you questions up
    front are concerned customers who are actively thinking about your product. You should be glad to tell them the truth
    and have a chance to sell them your services as you offer them. Just be yourself; don't promise stuff you won't do;
    probably keep on going with the same kind of good stuff you probably do for everyone else will be good enough. If you
    have done this before, know what you are doing, and have had many satisfied customers, then there's no reason why
    you can't support these people at their event.

    On question 1: a guarantee is a promise, fundamentally. Just look them in the eye and tell them the truth about whether
    or not you intend to keep your promise to be there. I bet you really do intend to keep your promise, and would show up
    for this client and many others. If they need reassurances, just tell them the truth.

    You're a man. Is your word your bond? If it's not, then don't promise anybody anything and get out of the business of
    speculative agreements. If you are a man, and your word is your bond (which I'm thinking you probably are) your sense
    of honor will move you to do what you say; and, if some problem comes up, you know you'll do what's right to give those
    guys the best you can to power through it.

    For question two: are they responsible for their guests? Those guests are fundamentally adults. If there's a minor
    present, then that minor has a guardian or parent somewhere who is responsible for his actions. Going to a party hosted
    by someone else does not totally absolve and relinquish that person from all responsibility from himself and his own
    conduct. By the way, if some guest deliberately breaks your stuff or attacks you or something, then those hypothetical
    problems would become real-world criminal or uncivil activities, I'd bet. I doubt there's some law that says fighting is
    against the community's rules, unless you're drunk at a wedding reception or something. We could image all kinds of
    hypothetical catastrophes, but in the end, those adults are still adults, fundamentally responsible for themselves, just
    like you are.

    To close, I'd like to say that I'd bet they are thinking people. The event is important to them, so they probably naturally
    dumped some nervous energy into reviewing the Big Wedding Photographer Contract. You're probably a hero to these
    guys. You're probably someone they look up to and trust. If they didn't, I doubt they would have stuck around long
    enough to ask you questions. They probably would have just gone to another business and shopped for another deal.

    If you are a stand-up guy who is a real photographer, like I'd bet you are, then you can power through a lot of this stuff by
    proceeding with confidence and reassuring your client, whose nervousness probably has little to do with you. I think you
    can do it. Contracts are not there to enslave people into doing stuff totally against their will under any circumstances;
    they're agreements. Just downshift this problem some by proceeding with confidence with your client, and I'll bet you do

    Now, get out there and plan them some good wedding photos! J.
  44. Ok--Lawyer weighing in here. (Persona non grata, judging by some of the first few posts...). I haven't read more than the first few responses because there are so many but here is my take on why he is acting the way he is:

    He is a lawyer! That's what we do. We negotiate daily. And I give him credit for being a little concerned that your contract doesn't quite say that you will be there on a certain date--the first sentence of Paragraph 2. "Retainer", says that you will 'reserve' the date, not appear on it. Call it splitting hairs? That is exactly what we do. That is why cases go to litigation. Despite the belief of some of the public, periods, commas, and their placements in sentences DO make a difference in legal meaning.

    Now, imagine he doesn't raise this paragraph 2 issue with you, and you don't show up on his daughter's wedding. She is, of course, crushed. But more than that, he will have to sue you. It will eventually come out that he didn't address the distinction between 'will reserve the date" and "will appear on". And what is more, his daughter will find out. His colleagues will find out. He will be embarrassed, his relationship with his daughter harmed, and his professional reputation possibly tarnished.

    Many lawyers work on retainer fees, as you do. Some clients balk at this, they want to be billed net 30, whatever. One comeback for this is,"Mr. Client, how can I diligently fight for your interests when I can't even fight for my own?". Here, he is fighting for his own--in a literal sense. He will never have a more important 'client' than his daughter, and an event potentially more costly to him than this wedding. You can bet that he is going to look at this contract twice. Don't blame him for his competence; thank the rest of your clients for their legal incompetence. Their failure to read the agreement critically and legally and negotiate makes this father look like some kind of ogre to many of the patrons of

    As for his second concern, it appears like he was asking a question, and I can see his point that your CGL policy should cover the damage to your equipment. It's a cost of doing business. Wilful misconduct and intentional acts, gross negligence by Bride would be potential exceptions. But the point is that it is a starting point and all negotiable.

    Believe me, most lawyers are not out to get you. Most are not litigious, outside of their professional lives. Most like to negotiate contracts. But they can also be a good source of referral business. Good luck.

    (Of course, this is not legal advice and no legal relationship is created by this post--but you KNEW that this was coming, didn't you?)
  45. From an insurance perspective, I think it's entirely reasonable to expect the host of a party to bear some
    responsibility for the misconduct of his guests. Even a policy covering Andrew for damage to his equipment (not a
    CGL policy, which would apply if Andrew caused damage to a third party's property and not cover damage a
    third party causes to Andrew's equipment) may have a deductible and filing a claim (particularly a large one) might
    your policy up for underwriting review at renewal, possibly resulting in higher rates or a cancellation. There are costs
    Andrew would bear (even if he had insurance, which he doesn't). Whether it makes sense to try to hold the host
    liable, whether the language in his contract is sufficient/appropriate, I'll leave to the lawyers. But I can understand
    wanting someone else to bear those costs.

    Andrew -- you need at least TWO different insurance policies. A general liability policy, which provides coverage in
    the event that you cause injury to another person or damage to another person's property in the course of your
    business. A guest carrying a drink in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other trips over a light cord, breaking her leg
    and starting a fire. You've got her injury, the injuries anyone else sustains and the damage to the location ... all of
    which you could be held legally liable for. Many catering halls won't allow you to work unless you can provide proof
    of this coverage. Call your insurance agent to inquire about it. If you're a paid subscriber to pnet, you can buy
    insurance through a policy it has for its subscribers. PPA also has a program.

    Second, you need a policy that protects you against damage to your equipment. Your homeowners policy MAY
    provide this coverage, but again, you should check with your agent. My HO policy does not cover photographic
    equipment used to generate income. Even policies that do provide coverage often have a relatively low limit (maybe
    $1,000) for photo equipment, and your deductible will apply. So a commercial policy may make more sense.

    Good luck!
  46. Some points from having had an active wedding business. The first is that insurance is important. Second. Having had problem clients I found it was better to do some screening and turn them down when I became instinctively queasy. When I turned down a client, which I did on several occasions, it was based upon my gut, not on some legal basis. These were judgments about attitudes of entitlement, exaggerated expectationns and my potential ability to get along with the client. I usually just said, sorry but I booked that date. This was proven out in that a few that I turned down caused problems elsewhere in my small town according to my favorite JOP. Thirdly. In my former life I was involved for several years in running major acquisitions and I respected our lawyers but retained the authority to make decisions after weighing the risks that they presented. Lawyers were generally most effective when they give good advice about the level of risk we were about to undertake. There is always risk in any endeavor. Someone has to decide whether that level of risk is acceptable. Even if the advice given above given above is from lawyers, or from people who write like they think they are lawyers, I would not take it from the web. It needs to come from someone who is familiar with the jurisdiction. Giving what I said above about dismissing clients for instinctual reasons, there is nothing like facing the person with whom I was contracting and judging for myself whether I could do business with the individual. Most litigation comes from someone who is pissed off with you personally or someone, like in my former wedding business, who was trying to beat me out of a buck. As I said earlier, I was busy enough just to give in, rather than become aggravated and have a couple weeks or more of my life ruined with resentments. Only the OP has dealt with the lawyer. Maybe he appeared reasonable and maybe not. I cannot judge that. I repeat, I simply would not place much credence in legal advice by someone I had never met on the web.
  47. Just to toss in and agree between Doug Harhai and Dick Arnold. I do not think that the questions in per se are objectionable. They seem to be legitimate questions to clarify terms of a contract. On the other hand what seems more important is what does your gut tell you? Not just by him asking the questions but how he asked the questions. Was it in a reasonable inquisitive manner or was it confrontational?
  48. The email she sent sounds a bit better. Anyone got any idea how I should respond?

    Dear Andrew (and Tiffany),
    After reviewing the contract, I have some questions on things that may need to change before I can sign it and send it back to you. I really want to hire you as my wedding photographer, so I hope we can work something out.
    First off, let me say that I know this contract is intended to protect your business, and I respect that, but I need something in there to also protect me. There needs to be a clause that states that if Marc Photography does not make it to the event, they will fully refund our money or find replacement photographers at the agreed upon fee.
    My next question has to do with the copyright release. By going with the Forever Package, we are purchasing the copyrights to the photographs. Paragraph 13 in your contract states the opposite. I don't have a problem with you using our images in advertising, on your website, or in contests, etc., but paragraph 13 needs to be amended in a way that states that the copyrights legally belong to us (or that we have the right to reproduce the images, etc.).
    Is a professional videographer the same as a professional photographer? We have not decided whether or not to hire a professional videographer for our ceremony. With the way the contract is worded, it sounds as though if we hired one, you two could just walk out on the job and not owe us anything. I understand not wanting another professional photographer there, but what about a videographer?
    Lastly, in the contract, it states that should one of our guests break a piece of your equipment, we are responsible for compensating you for damages. Do you have insurance on your equipment? Insurance should cover accidents such as this. Of course, if we have a guest that is purposely wrecking your equipment, I would understand wanting compensation. What kind of equipment will you be using at the reception? I'm picturing you two carrying large cameras around, or are there light fixtures of yours that will be set up? Of course, I do not foresee any of our guests breaking any piece of yours, but you never know what accidents may occur.
    Again, let me say that I like you two a lot and I hope we can work something out. I do not think you two are out to take advantage of us, but the contract should protect me and you both. I love that you have a new, growing business and I hope to help support that. Oh, that reminds me- do you have any references? Maybe someone's wedding you did and they wouldn't mind if I called and asked them about you? I would be very appreciative.
    Thank you for your time. If you want to talk to me directly, my cell number is [PHONE # REMOVED BY ADMIN], or you can email me back whenever you get a chance. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
  49. In my opinion, attorneys love to negotiate - it's what they are trained to do.

    I think the contract should state that a representative of the agency (not a particular photographer) will appear
    at the location, date and time specified for the purposes of performing under the agreement. Going on to say
    that unforeseen circumstances may hinder the performance is not unreasonable but you must make a reasonable effort
    to perform in any case. On the flip side, you would not likely be notified if a parent of the couple suffered a
    medical emergency on the morning of the event that caused the event to be postponed.

    As for insurance, you are greatly at risk without it. A guest who trips over your tripod and is injured, or is
    injured by negligence on your part has clear action against you and will prevail. The same policy that covers
    these perils will also cover damage to your gear. And you can add a rider that will cover damages resulting from
    your failure to perform as a result of the issues already mentioned.

    I would not turn away business due to my own failure to plan. Word of that travels faster than you can imagine.
  50. My package states that they are buying the copyrights to the photos. Does this mean that I cannot use the pictures without their permission after I give them the CD? I figured it just gave them permission to reprint the pictures and do whatever they want with them.
  51. I probably would just incorporate their concerns. HOWEVER, this is where your judgment about intent comes into to play. In my case this is where I would really on my gut about the personalities involved. It's up to you. There is risk in everything we do. Get some liabiltiy coverage, though. It will make you feel better. BTW, if you insure your equipment, which is separate, do not rely on your homeowners. Even though I am no longer in business I still have my equipment covered on a separate policy. Good Luck. Doing weddings carries a lot of stress.
  52. Andrew, why not ask the father what he'd prefer to see in place of the clauses he objected to. Write down exactly what he says, and if you can't see it being to your detriment, then incorporate them into your contract. Free legal advice and a happy customer.

  53. After seeing the bride's letter, it appears that the father is being reasonable as to the 2 points that we discussed earlier. If you can't make it, you have somebody cover for you; and you pay for accidental damage, they pay for intentional damage (which I mentioned up above). You are half way there.
  54. Seems to me that the first request is already covered by the Section 22 you posted in an earlier e-mail, with the removal of the word "similar" describing the fee. Sometimes, pointing that out will be suffiicient. They might want clarification that Section 22 will supercede section 2 in the event you can't make it.

    There is ABSOLUTELY a difference between giving them the copyright (which means they own the images and decide who can do what with them) and giving them the right to make copies (in which case YOU own the rights to the images, and have granted them permission to make copies). If they own the copyright, they own the images and you must get their permission to use them. If what you mean is that they're allowed to make copies, you should IMMEDIATELY change the package description to indicate that you will grant "reproduction rights" or something like that.

    As for the "hold harmless" -- you've got to decide what you want to do. You absolutely SHOULD have insurance to cover your equipment, but perhaps if you explain the reason for having this language in the contract (I'm assuming that you or someone you know had a bad experience with an out-of-control guest who caused a lot of damage), that might help come up with some compromise language.

    Certainly, you should be clear on the videographer/photographer issue.

    Again, I'm not a lawyer ... although I did spend 10 years negotiating intellectual property license agreements and reviewing M&A contracts. It's not uncommon for contracts to be drafted to favor the company that drafted them, but you should understand what items you are and are not willing to compromise on to close a sale.

    PS -- you might want to ask one of the editors to edit your post to block out your client's name ... and cell phone number.
  55. I realized that right after I posted it. I dont know how to get ahold of whover can change that. Could someone please block out the clients name and phone number when you get a chance? I am assuming someone that is reading this has the ability to do that. Thanks.
  56. "My package states that they are buying the copyrights to the photos. Does this mean that I cannot use the pictures
    without their permission after I give them the CD? I figured it just gave them permission to reprint the pictures and do
    whatever they want with them."

    It is impossible for anyone to know without seeing the actual language but a contract obviously can be tailored to
    work anyway you and/or the client wants. Given the problems with yours, it is in dire need of review and revision.
    Where did you get it?

    As for the letter, it confirms what I surmised earlier which is that the potential client has reasonable questions and
    concerns like the value of the equipment I happened to raise as a potential issue for such a client. As some have
    said, you are in the best position to decide if the job feels right to you, not us. I'm glad that you don't seem to adopt
    the view that a asking a few questions automatically makes the bride's father a Boogie Man out to get you. I think
    this client and you asking these questions about this stuff, whether to take the job or not, can help you greatly in the
    future by addressing them before its too late. You may also not scare off future clients with onerous, conflicting and
    vague contratual terms.
  57. I actaully got the contract from here a while back if I remember correctly.
  58. I would be careful about using somebody else's contract. It is like using somebody else's prescription medicine (literally). Both are very carefully intended for a certain person, both medicines and contracts may have contraindications for certain individuals. You may have a nice agreement but if you don't know what it says or don't know how to negotiate it, you wil run into troubles. You are a good candidate for finding an attorney that you can form a relationship with that you can go to for occasional help, maybe explain your agreement to you, or start with a new draft.
  59. The contract actually seems to fit me pretty well. I had to change a few things but not much or not anything that was huge in terms of liability. Just things like travel costs.

    Here is the latest e-mail I got.

    "Hi Andrew,
    Would it work if this language was in that first line of contract (where there are two blank lines to fill in): "Client is transferred all ownership to copyrights of all wedding photos, contrary to other statements herein." ? We can add some language about how you may use them on your website (and elsewhere) with permission of client. Please tell me this works. I so want to hire you! "

    Honestly, I realized that I really screwed up by saying they get the copyrights in our package. What I really meant was that they get a CD with photos and they can do whatever they want with them but I still own the rights. Not that they get full copyrights. What is that called is its not purchasing the copyrights?
    Also, wouldnt the line she adds in the beginning cancel out whatever is said later on about me being able to use the photos? Hence the line "to other statements herein"
  60. By the way, thanks everyone for the overwhelming amount of responses! Is this thread featured on the homepage or something? my goodness.

    Anyways. Could someone please tell me how I can get rid of the clients name and number in the earlier post?
  61. You could try sending an e-mail to Josh Root re: name/phone number.

    One thing I'd say from my experience (as a non-lawyer) dealing with contracts is that before you start making
    changes to the contract, it helps to have everyone on the same page conceptually. I'd start by responding to the first
    e-mail, picking up on her comment that what you intend is to give them rights to reproduce the images, not
    ownership of the copyright (which you will retain). Then look at the other issues, decide what you want to do, and let
    her know if you are OK with making a change or not. My experience was that if you could explain why you wouldn't
    agree to something, it sometimes helped get through the negotiation. Remember: the contract should reflect your
    agreement, rather than the document driving the business terms.

    Once everyone has agreed what the contract SHOULD say, you could either draft an amendment, referencing the
    specific sections that are being changed and how they are changed, or you could simply retype the entire contract,
    incorporating all of the changes. It was easier for me to use amendments, so that I could see what changes had
    been made for specific licensees, but it may be simpler for you to just have one completed contract without any

    Andrew -- I know you don't have lots of money and that the chances that there will be a problem with this client are
    slim. But really, unless you are personally comfortable with and understand the implications of making changes to
    your contract, you should be talking to a lawyer about this. If you can't talk to a lawyer for whatever reason, you
    might want to think about whether this particular client is worth taking a chance with.

    And yes -- the thread is on the home page.
  62. "I actaully got the contract from here"

    I knew it!

    I frequently (too often some may feel) warn against using contracts from people online especially in forums. This example illustrates exactly why. It has a lot of official legal sounding language but its a ticking time bomb in so many areas. So are many others.

    As to the copyright issue, couldn't you offer an unlimited or very flexible license to use the photos for non-commercial uses?

    See your local lawyer and insurance agent. Worthy investments. Good luck with the business.
  63. Andrew, the best thing you can do to support the growth of your business is to have spent some quality time with a competent local attorney on your contracts and to have insurance.

    The client base and referrals will go sour the first problem you have.

    You can take the contract you have and red-line or highlight the things that people have raised concerns about and it might be pretty quick to fix. "Local" because contract law can vary from state to state and there may be some finesse required to get the desired language and result for your location.

    Insurance because there will be venues that require it to get permits, etc. Also, little problems stay little when the insurance companies are solving them. You don't want to be the one that has to be banging on other people to get relief. "I work cheap because I don't have insurance!" isn't a great sales pitch.

    I have two daughters. I wouldn't take you on if I was busy trying to deal with a wedding and had to somehow get riders to my coverage to add you and your business. It's just an added headache - and I wouldn't not add you to my insurance for a number of reasons. First is, small problems aren't necessarily going to stay small and some easily foreseeable things aren't necessarily preventable, cheap, nor can you be sure that fault could be identified. The event is likely to be a at couple of 3rd party venues, like church and "hall" of some sort. There may be other people and activities going on, other businesses, vendors, weddings, guests, etc. If there is a problem, I can turn it over to my insurance carrier and they work it through.

    I'd put you on insurance because that's how you spread the risk over all of the policyholders. Hey, if I could afford to buy a couple of D3s and full kit of brand new lenses, flashes, etc., I'd already have some. I can't - so insurance comes into play. Of course, once you are (or aren't) on the insurance, etc., I'm going to submit claims to them. I'm pretty sure I'm obligated to do that anyways. If on contract to submit all claims to them, they can cancel me if I don't. They don't want to have to deal with a legal situation after all of the amateurs have fussed around and made it a whole lot worse and really gotten hostile attorneys involved. They find that fault isn't attributed to you or me or one of my covered parties? They deny it. You are back to square one. Now you are stuck trying to fight a legal battle, again, by yourself- you've got to try to come after me, asserting it was my or my guests fault, or identify the responsible party and go after them anyways.

    OTOH, if you have insurance, they also have trained staffs, can investigate, can pay quickly then go after the other party , etc.

    Get insurance, it's a whole lot easier for everyone involved.
  64. andrew

    you could use the situation to your advantage. thank him for the enquiries. do tell him that not being a legal person, you thought that you had a foolproof contract. however, if the gentleman (leech) sees any objection to what you have set out in the contract, please would he be kind enough to redraft a new contract for you. then, you can use his drafted contract, free of charge for all your future events. if he raises any questions in the future just smile and plead ignorance. do tell him that all you know is composition and aperture. since he is the brilliant legal mind, would he mind explaining to you what he is talking about, where necessary, in writing. always thank him for his time and do tell him that you really appreciate his time.
  65. So if you're getting this much scrutiny before the event, what do you think is going to happen if he doesn't like the photos? I'd
    thank him very much and go find another wedding to photo. I see trouble on your horizon.
  66. After reading John's retort to my original post (ouch!, but well done John) and in rereading my original, I find that my words didn't convey the intent or tone of my thoughts. And that reminds me of what I chastise our folks at work about regularly.

    It's so easy to flit e-mails back and forth, and end up with a needless confrontation. When we pick up the phone or discuss things in person, we often or maybe even usually find that what seemed strident and harsh in the cold black and white of the written word, is far less so in reality. It's so easy to type away and click Send, but actually talking with people is the way to resolve issues.

    Shame on me for not cutting to that chase the first time.
  67. Andrew if you don't have insurance he should not hire you, what happens if someone trips over your cords our your tripod falls on some ones head and hurts or kills a child, you need to be responsible and get insurance.
    sorry about this answer but this has been a one sided post.
    Thanks Bob W.
  68. "It's so easy to type away and click Send, but actually talking with people is the way to resolve issues."

    Agreed. While the e-mails seem cordial and designed to seek out mutual benefit, a live conversation can cover a lot
    of ground that can be memorialized afterward. They don't seem too far apart. Why not talk it over? Good suggestion.
  69. It is done. I politely declined and suggested that she find a more established photographer and that I had some recommendations if she wanted to hear them.
    They may or may not have been problem clients but I didnt feel it was worth the risk at this time and the wedding is in September so I shouldnt have a problem finding another client to fill the date. I went with my gut feeling at the end.
    The experience has opened my eyes to the reality of owning a business. I will be meeting with a lawyer soon to go over my contract and I will be getting insurance very soon hopefully. If anyone has a recommendation on where to get insurance from please write me.
    Thanks again everyone for all of the help.
  70. At least part of the negotiations of the parties are now posted online here, along with commentary, all of which may be discoverable and used in any future proceedings, should they become necessary. Contraindicated, indeed!
  71. Andrew, I'm glad you were able to make a decision about what to do, and also that you've taken this as a positive learning experience.
    One other thing occurred to me last night that might help you. There's an organization called SCORE that works in conjunction with the US Small Business Administration to help new small business owners by providing mentoring services, seminars, etc. Most (if not all) of the services are free. It's a volunteer group staffed mostly by retired business executives. If you connect with someone in your area, he or she might be able to provide some sources for insurance or other services.
    Here's a link to SCORE's website.
    Hope this helps.
  72. I am a lawyer and amateur photographer. Please retain a lawyer who knows (besides general litigation, business, contract and insurance law), but laws regarding photography. There are many specific to the craft.
  73. You will also need a forum selection clause and choice of law provision in your conract, especially if you do weddings outside of your state!
  74. I'm far from a pro but I noticed this link the other day. It looks like paying members of have access to this...

    From the PDF, a high level summary would be basic liability coverage for $175/year/photographer and $15k of equipment coverage for $150/year.

  75. here is also a great option:
  76. Hi: Did read in this forum that this is your first wedding. A lawyer has good connections in the community and if you do not do a good job,
    your reputation will be ruined even if he does not sue you. Something like this happened to the daughter of a friend of mine. The
    photographer had good pictures in his portfolio to show but that was his first wedding. He did not do an acceptable job. He did not get
    sued but I don't think he will do another wedding in the area for a long time. Wedding photography is very specialized and fast moving and
    you need experience. I am not doubting your ability but just a caution about choosing your first client. Good luck. Sandy
  77. Sandy, where did you hear that it would be my first wedding? I have already done 6 and have about 15 more booked between now and then.
  78. I have a friend who has a thriving business and is excellent at what he does. He has been ripped off only twice. Both times by lawyers. To make a long story short: they get free legal help. My friend doesn't. Suing to get paid cost more then what he was owed. He does not accept business from lawyers. He screens his customers and if they're an attorney, he quickly refuses the business.
  79. Kevin, what a shame. Good lawyers have great reputations in their community and know a lot of people to refer business. Not sure of this "free legal help" you speak of. Nothing in this world is free. Nothing. Especially legal help. Pro bono work isn't even free . . .
  80. Kevin,
    Come on. Let's play fair. "Ripped off" is a pretty strong term, and you don't know the facts; you only know your
    friend's interpretation of them. Let's hear the lawyers' version. Could it be possible that it isn't so much an issue of
    getting free legal help, but knowing the law, that gives these attorneys an edge? Why disparage them, and indirectly
    cast a bad light on the profession?

    I hope that he never needs to file a major lawsuit, never needs a divorce, never needs estate planning, never needs
    to get an injunction or custody...the list goes on. In such a case he would have to call a lawyer.

    Farewell friends, I am finished with this thread. You can private mail me if you like.

  81. Hi Andrew: Sorry I misunderstood. This is a long thread and I was surely thinking some one else. Wish you the best.
  82. Wow - this is getting way out of control, and quite frankly kinda silly. Yes, you should be careful in your dealings with the public, but if you're going to be paranoid about everyone who wants to hire you then get out of the business.

    Its extremely unfair to paint all attorneys with the same brush - they are really only looking to protect a fairly hefty investment of which you're a part. Weddings around here (NYC/NJ) are very expensive and as such any client is entitled to some comfort in knowing that you'll produce what you promise. Likewise, you would want to be comfortable with any situation you put yourself into.

    My contracts are simple, my insurance is a basic albeit unfortunate necessity (you can get good liability insurance for about $150/year), and I rarely turn down clients because of who they are or what they do. I'm willing to work with everyone on the wording in the contract - if they're uncomfortable with something or they want something added or modified, then we talk - I've been involved with politics, negotiations, and attorneys for more than 25 years and found that its in everyone's best interest to have a bit of flexibility in order to make everyone happy. I've had attorneys review my contracts, and made minor concessions if I felt it was OK - the boilerplate stands as a basis for negotiations. If you want to succeed, then you've got to be flexible. Don't be so paranoid. --Rich
  83. Typically acts of god are not covered in contracts. "non-refundable, even if the date is changed or the wedding
    cancelled for any reason; including acts of God, fire, strike and/or extreme weather." I think this is a
    little harsh they loose there retainer. Think acts of God should involve rescheduling and if a suitable date
    can't be agreed then the retainer is forfeited. Secondly if you don't show up at the wedding you should return
    the entire fee.

    Issue 2: it would have to be willfull misconduct. If a guest is dancing and trips on your tripod, he'd
    probably be able to sue you. However if a guest hits your tripod, it doesn't fall over, and picks up your
    tripod and camera and beats it against the ground. That the wedding insurance should cover.

    If THE CLIENT's party engages in willful misconduct, which results in damage of any equipment of the
    photographer. THE CLIENT understands that in such an event THE CLIENT agrees to replace, repair, or
    compensation for the loss of equipment. Additionally if such conduct results in breakage that the photographer
    can no longer continue to perform services. The photographer will leave the wedding party immediately and no
    refund of fees should be required or necessary.

    I think the lawyer is going to tear your contract apart, so you should decide if this gig is worthwhile. A
    good contract provides fair protection to both parties, from your two paragraphs it's not close to being fair.
    Good luck....
  84. les


    Such a simple thing: one guy with a camera agrees to come to a wedding, take pictures and get paid for this. they come: contracts, liabilities, insurances, clauses, guarantees, provisions, acts of God, misconducts, limitations, damages, lawsuits, policies, paragraphs etc. etc.

    I know that a lot of people considers this perfectly normal. But - just take a step back and look at this again. Isn't the world becoming a madhouse, with the inmates running the show ?

    Say someone want greet me with a handshake: hey ! stop right there ! Let's have a contract first: you guarantee that you do not have any "handshake-transmittable" disease, and that you are free of any other bacteria, and that you are not going to damage my hand by applying excessive grip pressure, and in case of any such event - you will compensate me, and my lost earnings, and my psychological damages and what not. Crazy ? Perhaps...
  85. Welcome to the world today . . .

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