The contract’s fine print, legalese, and a first party that doesn’t end until four in the morning are no match for their fine legal minds, until they get to the last clause.
Forelo: Hey, wait—wait! What does this say here? This thing here?
Driftwood: Oh, that? Oh, that’s the usual clause. That’s in every contract. That just says—uh—it says—uh—if any of the parties participating in this contract is shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.
Forelo: Well, I don’t know.
Driftwood: It’s all right. That’s—that’s in every contract. That’s—that’s what they call a sanity clause.
Forelo: Oh, no. You can’t fool me. There ain’t no Sanity Clause!
I draft contracts, lots of contracts, but not one has ever included a Sanity Clause. Not because I don’t believe in Sanity Clause. I do believe in Sanity Clause, though after trying to keep up with blogging, social media, and my law practice on top of my family’s Thanksgiving to Christmas schedule, one would have to question my own.
I’m making my first New Year’s resolution early this year, to negotiate contracts the Marx Brothers way. If my negotiations get hung-up on something only lawyers could get hung up on, I'll quote Driftwood: “Why should we quarrel about a thing like this? We’ll take it right out” and ripppppp out it will come.
Copyrights notwithstanding, you can usually find a clip of the Marx Brother's contract scene somewhere on the internet. For now, there's one here.