The Attorney waited for the guard to buzz him into one of Hades’ many visiting rooms. As he waited, he thought about how his practice started to grow explosively after winning the Johnny v. The Devil case. Charlie Daniels got it all wrong. It took years of litigation and a trip to the Supreme Court to get Johnny his prize. Now, everyone who made a pact with the Devil or his minions sought out the Attorney to help them.
The Attorney scheduled monthly visits to Hades to meet with clients and potential clients. Today was not one of those days; today was a special visit made at the last minute. What intrigued the Attorney was that this potential client sent him a letter written on vellum with a gold coin for the consultation fee.
The buzz sounded and the guard opened the door. The visiting room had the usual décor – peeling gray paint on the windowless walls, a rectangular metal table bolted to the center of the floor, and two metal chairs on opposite sides of the table, also bolted to the floor. Sitting in the chair facing the door was an old, bearded man dressed like a wealthy 16th Century German intellectual. The man gave the Attorney a piercing stare.
The Attorney entered and started, “Hello, Dr. Faust. My name is …”
Faust gruffly cut him off, “I know who you are. I presume you got my letter.”
“Yes,” the Attorney responded as he sat down at the table across from Faust. “I need you to sign my Representation Agreement before we begin.” Faust took the paper from the Attorney, signing it with a quill pen that Faust took from a hidden pocket in his cloak. Faust did not read the agreement.
Handing back the signed agreement, Faust asked impatiently, “Can you help me?”
“Maybe. Let’s see. First . . .”
Faust interrupted and scoffed, “‘Maybe.’ Always ‘maybe’ with you lawyers.”
“What did you expect, sir? You signed a contract with Mephistopheles for power, riches, and good health. Section 3 provided that in exchange he could take your soul for eternity the moment you were happy. What did you think was going to happen?”
“I expected an eternity on Earth! There was no way I was happy when that winged [CENSORED] dragged me down here!” Faust paused, then continued, “Mephistopheles did not say anything about that little clause you pointed out. That should count.”
“Sorry, it does not. Mephistopheles did not have to point out anything. Did you read the contract before you signed?” The Attorney accurately predicted the answer.
“No. What was spoken was enough.”
“The contract reads that any discussions before signing became meaningless once you signed. Language like that in cases like this usually are enforceable.”
Faust squinted hard at the Attorney. “I have no hope then. Keep the coin and go.”
“Listen closely before you cast me out. The contract did not define ‘happy’ or ‘happiness.’ Instead, Mephistopheles was to determine when you were happy. The Fairness in Hell Act provides that such determinations must be made in good faith. It is like the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing applied to contracts by many jurisdictions in the United States. Perhaps your circumstances show that Mephistopheles breached his duty of good faith. If so, you will be returned to Earth with your day of reckoning delayed.”
“Wunderbar!” Faust’s eyes shone with hope, then clouded again. “Will what I sent you cover your fees to do this?”
Faust cursed aloud, but thought about what awaited him outside the room. Faust dug into his cloak, then tossed a bag of gold coins across the table. The Attorney looked at the bag and started to leave. Faust tossed another bag onto the table. The Attorney sat back down.
“Let’s get started.” The Attorney took notes as Faust answered the Attorney’s questions.
It is a good idea to read what you sign – the law likely will hold you to the contract you sign even if you do not read it. Hire a professional to help you when needed. The cost for that assistance could be a fraction of the cost once the other side tries to enforce the deal.
This post provides general information only. This post is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to be legal advice about your situation. A blog article is not a substitute for legal advice that fits your situation. Laws change and your situation may be different. You should consult with a licensed attorney for legal advice specific to your circumstances.
© 2018 Matthew D. Macy