My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.
The first issue which must be addressed in your question is whether the indemnification agreement is binding. If there was valid consideration
, i.e., if the franchisor gave the person something in return for the indemnification agreement, then this points towards the agreement's validity.
On the other hand, if the agreement was signed under duress, it could be argued that it is invalid. Duress is the use of force or pressure by one party to make the other party agree to the contract
force does not have to be physical - it may be mental pressure. The use of duress makes the contract voidable by the party under duress. In this case, it sounds as if there was mental pressure applied. But for the pressure to qualify as duress, it must be of an unlawful nature (i.e., blackmail). Thus, if it was only pressure regarding future economic gain or loss, this will not count as duress.
The next issue which must be addressed here is the fact that his attorney provided him with incorrect advice. The failure to provide correct advice may be legal malpractice. This person may have recourse then against the attorney who gave the wrong advice if the indemnification agreement bars
the lawsuits now, which is exactly what the attorney said it would not do.
So, in sum, his options are to challenge the validity of the agreement as to consideration and duress, and if that fails he has the option of suing his attorney for legal malpractice.
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