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    Legal question for DRD

    DRD, your a lawyer correct? (if im mistaken feel free to ignore this post, unless of course you know the answer anyway).

    I have signed a longterm contract with a martial arts school. Now, say do not feel they are teaching the curriculum they outlined to me when i signed up for the program. Would this be a legal excuse for breaking the contract? They have not provided the services that they told me they would, in my opinion at least. Thanks for your time!

    #2
    DRD is not a lawyer

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      #3
      Damn, why did I think that? Oh well, anyone else have any insight to this?

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        #4
        I'd say sure, my friend matt says sure also (graduating lawyer). At any rate, its really doubtful that they'd try to enforce the terms of the contract anyway, due to the cost of retriving said 'debt'. you might want to review any of the paperwork you were given to see if there was any kind of 'exit clause' or cost retrival penalty. If they do try to retrieve the debt through a collections agency you have a variety of options available to you, but like I said this is unlikely.....

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          #5
          DRD, I have explained my problems with the school to them, and I was given the excuses I knew I would be given. Even the few things that I liked about the school have been taken away. For example, the kickboxing class was awsome. It was run by a well known IKF kickboxer and it alone gave me a reason to stay. But the owners of the school decided this kickboxers style of teaching was too hardcore (read, he let us spar). Deluxe247 and I aren't even allowed to spar eachother in front of other students because the instructors think it will scare the little wusses out of the uber light contact crap they already participate in. In fact talking it out with the owners ended up branding deluxe247 and I as the badguys in the school. The instructors dont like us for questioning their teaching methods, and the students don't like us for being "arrogant". It has become a rather uncomfortable training environment. On the plus side, i've learned never to sign a martial arts contract again.

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            #6
            Jubei33, unfortunetly its very likely they will try to retrive the cost of the debt. Its not a small martial arts chain, in fact its one of the largest in south florida (6 schools now i believe.) They use a billing company called ASF to handle matters like cancellations, and asf's website makes it clear that they will pursue debts from invalid cancellations.

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              #7
              so how much money are we talking about?
              your best bet if they are thirsting after your wallet is to make a list of all your grievances with this company. make sure you get dates and specific comments or actions, then take it to a qualified lawyer or paralegal. That is, if you cant make good with the owners of this company.
              sounds pretty crappy.....
              however, when I was 15 I went to a tang su do school that was similar in nature. I signed their contract, but later with 3 months left I found somthing better and left. I had more of a personal problem with the teachers there, when I successfully tested for belts he would never give them to me or allow me to procede onto my next section. So I left and went to another school, they never came after me....

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                #8
                A few thousand dollars heh, the total cost of the program is about 5 grand. i've dumped about a grand and a half so far.

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                  #9
                  Keep sparring in the school. If they insist on forcing you to stop then you have an atmosphere that is not conducive to your training. Also:

                  For example, the kickboxing class was awsome. It was run by a well known IKF kickboxer and it alone gave me a reason to stay. But the owners of the school decided this kickboxers style of teaching was too hardcore (read, he let us spar).
                  This sounds like solid ground.

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                    #10
                    Keep sparring full contact until THEY terminate the contract by ejecting you.

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                      #11
                      We still spar, but its ultralight, totalally covered in protective gear sparring. Like i said, Deluxe247 and I arent even allowed to spar with eachother when other students are around because we go to hard with eachother (which is bs, we go from medium to heavy contact and we are controlled, not to mention friends who trust eachothers ability). The sparring was at one point not ghey, almost full contact with light gear. But every assistant instructor who ran classes in this manner was either fired or quit. We went through three decent instructors, and brent he$s (the ikf kickboxer) was moved to another school to train newbies. Perhapt the change in sparring rules would be grounds for cancellation?

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                        #12
                        yeah i think that there removal of the class which you attended would be grounds for cancelling the contract. just my opinion though, depends how sneaky the contract is

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                          #13
                          What kind of a dojo let's its students sign a 3-year contract??

                          Oh wait, I see...a McDojo of course.
                          I think it's very strange that you have to sign a contract for a martial arts (appart from one stating you will not sue their ass of if anything happens to you). Is that some American invention again?

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                            #14
                            I wish I could help you, but I don't know Florida Law. If you are on the hook for over $3,500, that is substantial enough to go and talk to a lawyer in your area and see what can be done. You will need a copy of the contract. I take it you are over 18? If not, that would be a great way out.

                            It has to be a service contract. Substantial compliance is usually the standard. No one can tell you what you can do without looking at the contract first.

                            Also, you should not rely on legal advice from anyone other than a lawyer.

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                              #15
                              If $4,000 is at stake, then it would be worth your time to see a lawyer who is familar with contract law. When you signed up did the contract specify which class you would be taking? If it did not, normally courts do not like adding implied conditions to written contracts. You could always ask to transfer to the school in which this instructor you like now teaches, that would be the best solution. However if you do decide you wish to leave the school you would want a lawyer to advise you how much damages they could actually collect from you. Even though the face value of the contract is for $5,000, if they do not provide you with more then $1,000 in services the court may find against you but not award the full amount on the grounds that you have not used nearly this amount in services.

                              You also will want to find out what the limit for small claims actions in your state is. For example in Connecticut it is $3,500 and it would be worth making sure that they would not be able to bring you to civil court but to small claims where you would have a better chance of defending yourself legally. Of course it would also cost them more to bring you to regular court since they would have to hire a lawyer, but then you would have to hire a lawyer, you see where this is heading, happy lawyers. :)

                              You may also want to run past your lawyer the idea of forcing them to negate the contract by full contact sparring deluxe. Your state might have specific caselaw on how to assess blame if they cancel the contract. (were they reasonable or not?) I'd like to encourage you, given the money at stake, to actually go hire someone since when you make your move you want it to be well thought out and to your advantage.
                              Last edited by Sam Browning; 3/21/2004 12:23pm, .

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