What is an Unconscionable Contract?

Full Question:

i signed an arbitration agreement with divorce attorneys that i am malpracticing but not about the fees, other catastrophic things. i did not lose, just became homeless, and other things since they would not enforce court ordered temp or perm support for four years and my spouse after the divorce of course hid everything thanks to them. after 25 years of marriage i got not one penny while i had the attorneys to help me. i believe the agreemebnt is unconscionable, also they gave me my retaianer back because of my situation that atty took six months to finish closing arguments and other things. i filed a case in civil court and then remembered the arbitration agreement i signed which also states that i aagree not to oppose the compel of arbitration. i am in pro per and have lost everything. they did not ask spouse to pay atty fees in the end. i have nothing and also 200,000 of atty fees. its quite a mess, i must proceed and think they have robbed me of my right to the pursuit of happiness as well. my question is how much would you charge me to draft a document opposing this, which i will be filing along with my civil case. and can you tell me anything else, in case you dont draft. thanks
09/04/2009   |   Category: Arbitration and Me...   |   State: California   |   #18445

Answer:

Written arbitration agreements are generally valid, enforceable and irrevocable. In rare cases, a court may set aside an arbitration clause under contract law principles. Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds. If a court finds a contract to be unconscionable, it may void the contract or order corrections made to reflect the intent of the parties. The court may refuse to enforce the contract, or it may enforce the remainder of the contract without the unconscionable clause, or it may so limit the application of any unconscionable clause as to avoid any unconscionable result.

An 'unconscionable contract' has been defined to be such as no sensible man not under delusion, duress or in distress would make, and such as no honest and fair man would accept. An adhesion contract is a contract balanced in favor of one party over the other that one can assume it was not entered into on equal bargaining grounds. Adhesion contracts are usually formed when one person is in a superior bargaining position and pressures the other party into a contract with unfair or oppressive terms.

I suggest you contact a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved. Unfortunately, we are unable to represent individuals in drafting pleadings for a particular case.