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Legalpapers.net Process Serving contract: Who would sign??

January 5, 2011

I recieved a copy of a “management agreement” from an aquaintence of mine which apparently has been solicited by one David Kopel, president of legalpapers.net. 

The document in question appears to be written as a “one size fits all” contract which would bind a process serving company owner into specific obligations with Legalpapers.net, and I believe it reads as one of the most insulting, one sided contracts I have read in a long time.

A few specific examples:

Termination by Manager.  Manager may terminate the Management Agreement immediately and without other cause, effective immediately upon notice of termination to the Owner, if the Owner:

Performs or promises to perform any locator services whatsoever for any clients within the Individual Geographic Territory or elsewhere, including but not limited to the following: general locator services, Motor Vehicle Administration queries, Social Security Number scans, postal queries, skip tracing, due diligences, credit bureau and other skip tracing database or similar locator services thereof.

Bulldog’s response:  So basically if I perform 2/3’s of the searches essential to work as a private investigator I’m in breach of contract?

1.4.3.             The Owner shall pay the renewal fee in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) and/or equivalent of $2,000 annually.

Bulldog’s response:  Sounds like an awful lot of outlay, what exactly does the company owner get in return?

4.5.1. Owner shall be solely responsible without any reimbursement whatsoever by Manager for any and all advertising expense related to the individual process servers, including but not limited to, the following: print and media advertising to recruit process servers.  Although Manager assigns its rights to manage the aforementioned process servers upon the execution of this Agreement, Manager shall not be responsible in any way for recruiting process servers on behalf of Owner on an ongoing basis.

Some more gems:

4.5.2. Manager shall be responsible for all advertising expenses related to Manager services.  Manager shall conduct those certain advertising campaigns that Manager deems necessary and appropriate in its sole discretion to attract clients for referral purposes. 

3.1.      Initial Management Fee. The Owner shall pay to Manager an initial management fee, payable by certified check concurrently with the execution of this Agreement, of $ 5,000 thousand dollars ($ 5,000.00) (the “Initial Management Fee”).  The Initial Management Fee is fully earned by Manager upon the signing of this Agreement and shall in no event be refunded at any time for any reason.

3.2.      The term of this Agreement and the rights and duties of the parties hereunder shall commence as of the date of acceptance, as indicated herein upon final execution hereof by Manager, and shall continue in effect for five years, unless a termination, breach or renewal shall occur as provided herein.

SECTION 4. OTHER FEES AND OTHER CONTINUING CHARGES

4.1.             Monthly Maintenance Fees.  In addition to the Initial Management Fee, each month or partial month that this Agreement is in effect, the Owner shall pay Manager a monthly Maintenance fee (hereinafter ” Monthly Maintenance Fee”) which shall entitle the Owner to general management and support services to be provided by Manager, including the following: general management support, software and computer services, bi-weekly management reports as detailed in Section 6.6, marketing and sales services, original account set up for new clients, individual case and client distribution to Owner.  Manager shall use reasonable efforts to refer clients to Owner within the Individual Geographic Area, but shall be under no obligation to refer a certain number of clients to Owner in any given month.  Any client that Owner obtains on its own or otherwise without Manager’s referral shall be turned over to Manager for purposes of processing such client’s account, and shall be treated like any other client for purposes of calculating fees.

12.1.            General Prohibition Against Competition. In consideration of the rights obtained by Owner under this Agreement and for other good and valuable consideration, Owner covenants, agrees, and acknowledges:

12.1.1. While this Agreement is in effect, the Owner agrees that it will not, directly or indirectly, sell locator services or services similar to those sold by the Manager in any geographic area where the Manager sells locator services at any time during the term of this Agreement, unless preapproved by the Manager.

12.2.            Solicitation.  For a period of two (2) years after this Agreement is terminated for any reason, the Owner will not, directly or indirectly, either as a proprietor, stockholder, partner, officer, employee or otherwise:

            12.2.1.  sell, offer to sell, or solicit any orders for processing services or locator services which are similar to those sold by the Manager to or from any person, firm or entity which was a customer of the Manager during the two (2) years preceding such termination of this Agreement; or

12.2.2.   induce, entice or hire, or attempt to hire or employ any employee of the Manager or former employee of the Manager who had been an employee of the Manager at any time during the two (2) years period prior to the Owner’s attempted hiring of such individual.

In short, everything seems to be written in such a way that it benefits the “manager” (David Kopel) and his company.  My sheer disbelief as to the content of the contract is what prompted me to stick in on my blog.  That and I’ve been so busy with process serving and working cases, that I haven’t posted in a while.

In short, I dont know if the liquor store has enough Jack Daniels on the shelf to convince me to sign such an agreement.

-Bulldog

From → process serving

2 Comments
  1. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness for your publish is just excellent and that i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to snatch your RSS feed to keep updated with imminent post. Thanks one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.|

    • I appreciate the flattery. Yes, feel free to utilize the RSS feed. I’ve learned alot of ugly truths about process serving over the past five years… in terms of the outsourcing, lack of due dilligence regarding address verification, etc. It’s something I’m quite good at (particularly when it comes to skiptracing), but am pessimistic it’s worth pursuing as a long term career opportunity.

      -BulldogPI

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