Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Existential Contract Lawyers

When only the Devil can get you what you want.
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When I was thinking about selling my soul to the devil last week I decided not to be too hasty. Jumping in to an eternal contract with Satan is not a decision to be taken lightly. Then I came across Existential Contract Lawyers and Associates. ECL and Associates drafted the following contract for me that I am forthwith going to present to the Big Man downstairs. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with what they came up with! Here's a snippet:

CONTRACT

1. Definitions
1.1 Words and phrases used in this document that use capitalised letters shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this clause 1 or as defined elsewhere in the Tender.
1.1.1 "the Client" the person or persons directly affected by the Contract and whose Soul is the question of the agreement therein.
1.1.2 "the Contract" this document (including any Schedules, Orders or variations agreed in writing by the parties) written in blood upon the freshly shaven back of a young ewe.
1.1.3 "the Devil" Lord of Hell, or Satan, or any servant or agent acting under the command or order of the Devil.
1.1.4 "Eternity" existing for an infinite, i.e. limitless, amount of time or a timeless existence, i.e. altogether outside of time.
1.1.5 "Halfbakery" a communal database of original, fictitious inventions, posted and edited by its users. These ideas are then voted on or deleted in accordance with the Halfbakery's rules.
1.1.6 "Hell" the physical realm of an eternal afterlife in torment, or associated body, or any servant or agent of Hell.
1.1.7 "Soul" the Client's eternal ethereal substance or spirit or 'rooah' or 'nefesh' in its immortal immaterial form, unconnected to the flesh of the Client.

(EDIT) 1.2 Further definitions are set out in the accompanying document Terms and Definitions.

1.3 Where the context so admits words in the singular include the plural; words in the feminine include the masculine and neuter, and vice versa.

2. Warranties
2.1 The Client warrants, represents and undertakes to the Devil that:
2.1.1 upon completion of the agreement and the resolution of all the sub-clauses and indentures (see 2.2.1 and 2.2.2) they (the Client) shall willingly give up their Soul to the Devil for Eternity to be used in any way the Devil sees fit.
2.1.2 they shall carry out their obligations in accordance with any dates specified in the Contract, whilst the Client and the Devil acknowledge that time is of no real essence to this Contract in respect of any such dates, their result being an Eternity and therefore limitless.

2.2 The Devil warrants, represents and undertakes to the Client that:
2.2.1 upon the signing of the Contract the Devil will put in place certain measures to ensure the Client is sufficiently inspired (EDIT - removed "prolific") in their inventions and that those that are submitted to the Halfbakery will receive the sufficient positive votes to warrant two and a half "Croissants".
2.2.2 The Devil will not attempt to claim the Client's Soul until 50 of the Client's ideas have been voted upon to the level as set out in 2.2.1.
2.2.3 The Devil will not attempt to claim the Client's Soul until the Client has died of natural causes. If the Client's death is in any way the result of interference, passive or aggressive, by the Devil or his subordinates or his subcontractors or his associates of any kind or by any person under the influence, passive or aggressive, of any one of these parties, the Devil will forthwith relinquish any and all claims on the Client's Soul.

2.3 Each party warrants to the other
2.3.1 that at no point shall either party interfere with the freewill of other Halfbakers.

3 Assignment
3.1 Neither the Client, nor the Devil, are permitted to assign the benefit or burden of this Contract to any other person without the prior written consent of both parties and, if need be, but not necessarily, the assignee.

4 Invoicing and Payment
4.1 All exchanges, including those of no material essence (eg inspiration or prolificism or soul-eating) must be accompanied with a written receipt.

5 Disputes Resolution
5.1 In the event of a dispute over the interpretation or application of the terms of this Contract the process of resolution is as follows:
- The Client and the Devil shall meet and consider the issue in good faith and shall use their best efforts to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.
- If it is not possible to resolve the issue at that level within 10 days of the dispute having been notified to such level, it shall be referred to Dave Ellis, the Client's flatmate, for resolution (who shall consider the dispute in good faith and use his best efforts to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.)
- (EDIT) If it is not possible for Mr Ellis to resolve the dispute due to incapacitation, death, or absence of any kind, it shall be referred to the lawyers of ECL and Associates who are contractually bound to enforce the contract as it stands.
- If the Contract is still in dispute after it has been referred to ECL and Associates the Contract shall be deemed null and void and all parties shall reclaim their part in any exchanges made, referring to the record of receipts as decreed in 4.1. Both parties are legally bound not to reclaim anything more than was imparted since the signing.

The Undersigned..............

theleopard, Mar 07 2007

Happy to have your business. soul_20clearing_20house
[Voice, Dec 15 2011]

[link]






       But if, hypothetically, all your high-vote ideas upon which the deal was based lost their votes in the Great Disk Crash of September '04, then should Satan give my soul back?
hippo, Mar 07 2007
  

       // The Client and the Devil shall meet and consider the issue in good faith //   

       I think I see a small flaw here... // ...Devil... ...good faith... //
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 07 2007
  

       The devil made me do it + (clause 2.2.1)
the dog's breakfast, Mar 07 2007
  

       //Great Disk Crash//   

       [hippo], that's certainly a clause worth entering. Similarly, [Frank], I'll have ECL enter in a start date from which the ideas are viable, ie the moment the document is signed.   

       Despite ECL's assurances, I'm still a little wary.
theleopard, Mar 07 2007
  

       What happens if Dave Ellis is dead or mentally incapacitated when a dispute arises? Supposing he has died and has gone to Hell (as he surely deserves) already? Wouldn't he be subject to undue pressure from Satan (for which there is no penalty clause in the contract) when making his decision?

I also see a problem with section 2.2.1 where you foolishly use the word 'prolific'. This lays you open to serious sharp practice as you might well find yourself producing fifty 'top bun' ideas on the first morning. After a lunchtime of liquid celebration a drunken attempt to wave down the bus home could leave you experiencing your first bottom roasting of the rest of eternity by 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
DrBob, Mar 07 2007
  

       <reviews drafting, tuts, gets red pen out>
calum, Mar 07 2007
  

       It *is* a draft [Bob].   

       [calum], can I borrow that after you?
theleopard, Mar 07 2007
  

       Also, the sentence "Words and phrases used in this document that use capitalised letters shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this clause 1 or as defined elsewhere in the Tender" is OK, but then neither the word "Words" or "Tender", (or many other capitalised words in the contract) are defined.
hippo, Mar 07 2007
  

       Including all the definitions I thought would be a bit tiresome for the readers here. It's almost [Vernon]ly long already. Just a //snippet// after all.
theleopard, Mar 07 2007
  

       Also, see EDITs [Bob]. I appreciate the help. My Soul is rather dear to me.
theleopard, Mar 07 2007
  

       I would never sign any contract that is a) more than one page in length or b) requires me to surrender my soul to the devil.   

       Aside from that, if you need a lawyer, it's already too late.
nuclear hobo, Mar 07 2007
  

       Fundamental problem: as Hobbes correctly points out, it is not possible to contract with beasts. Being that Satan is not just a beast, but The Beast (and therefore the Platonic ideal of beast) any such contract would be entirely (and Platonically) unenforceable. "Aha," you may smugly think, "then I don't have to surrender my soul at the end of it" but be wary, Satan has better lawyers than you, and they are aware that His Dark Majesty's obligation of fair performance is likewise unenforceable, so He'll probably just fuck with you some, and await your delict/tort claim.
calum, Mar 07 2007
  

       Actually, I have just reread my Hobbes and noticed, following the statement of incapacity of Beasts, this interesting point:   

       "To make covenant with God is impossible but by mediation of such as God speaketh to, either by revelation supernatural or by His lieutenants that govern under Him and in His name: for otherwise we know not whether our covenants be accepted or not."   

       If we take these restrictions as applying to Satan also, then such a contract would be possible, provided either:
1. some diabolical supernatural revelation communicates acceptance and such acceptance is unequivocal and clear (such as Sir Cliff releasing a record entitled "I, Satan, Agree To Purchase Your Soul, theleopard"); or
2. the Contract specifies Dark Lieutenants of Satan, who will act on His Infernal Behalf, presumably as agents.
calum, Mar 07 2007
  

       2.2.3 should be the 'Early Termination' clause.
Ling, Mar 07 2007
  

       [calum] - and then what did Calvin say?
hippo, Mar 08 2007
  

       //there's a lot of details here// -that's a lot of places for the devil to inhabit.
xenzag, Mar 08 2007
  

       I'll tell you something spooky, friends. Every now and then I check on the bakery from my mobile phone. For some reason (and this has never happened before) this idea, and this idea alone, does not appear on the WAP version.   

       DUM-DUM durrrm!!!
theleopard, Mar 08 2007
  

       because of the hb category? just guessing...
po, Mar 08 2007
  

       [hippo], I was going to make some crack about a "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Babysitters" until I realised I was mixing my Reformation Demagogues.
calum, Mar 08 2007
  

       [po], just did a test and you're right.   

       I've been trying to read up on Hobbes to figure out what you're saying [hippo] and [calum], but can't quite put my finger on it. Leviathan seems to be his main work but it doesn't contain a gread deal of theology in it.
theleopard, Mar 08 2007
  

       Shouldn't the Infernal Shepherd provide some form of schedule detailing the kinds of things he's likely to want to do with these souls (each of which, for some reason, I imagine would look a bit like a kidney) once ownership is transferred over to Him?   

       I mean, if he's just going to put them on display, and can show that full care and attention will be taken while they remain in his care, it might not be such a big deal. On the other hand, if he intends to wantonly milk and then bathe in the tears of a thousand regrets, before slow roasting them over the twin embers of horror and despair, finally gorging himself carnally on my source of hope and decency, I might take a dimmer view.   

       Are leasing terms available?
zen_tom, Mar 08 2007
  

       //Are leasing terms available?//   

       ECL could probably draw something up for you, perhaps a time-share holiday in the scorching pits of the damned?   

       You'd probably end up at one of those awful hotels you hear about that's directly adjacent to a construction site. Oh, that makes my blood boil! Still, lovely warm weather.
theleopard, Mar 08 2007
  

       What's the going rate for say, 5 minutes of damnation?
zen_tom, Mar 08 2007
  

       Well, of course he'd be paying you, really. So what would you want in return for 5 minutes of damnation?
theleopard, Mar 08 2007
  

       Can I have tomorrow afternoon off?
zen_tom, Mar 08 2007
  

       So for a half-day off on Friday you'll donate your soul to Hell for 5 minutes? I suppose that's fair. I'm sure Satan would find the arrangement amicable. When are you free? Friday afternoon?
theleopard, Mar 08 2007
  

       Wait a minute, you think I can get more for my 5 minutes? How about a nice job in the doingnicethings and gettinglotsofmoney industry?
zen_tom, Mar 08 2007
  

       If we're working on a purely commercial basis, it becomes clear that there is a monopoly on Faustian Pact Services, this means that the price (that is, the period of damnation) is set by Satan alone. This will, no doubt, in time, be reported to the Competition Commission, who will break up the Faust Market (as it will doubtless become known) in its usual clumsy manner, probably allowing the Father of All Lies to keep his wholesale Damnation operation going in the medium term, but allowing other operators in the retail field to spring up, buying Damnation in bulk from the Evil One, and selling it on at whatever rates they find to be acceptable. I understand that it's a growth market.
calum, Mar 08 2007
  

       nobody *ever* buys Damnation under the generic label, even though it's just as good and much cheaper. hmph.
pigtails_and_ponies, Mar 08 2007
  

       //you think I can get more for my 5 minutes? How about a nice job //   

       I suppose we could approach this mathematically to figure out a direct proportion. Let's say you live to a modest old age of 80. By my calculations that's 42,048,000 minutes, 5 of which you wish to donate to Satan. That's 1/8,409,600 of your lifetime. Now, if we figure out what 1/8,409,600 of eternity is, we can apply that to your afternoon off versus a new career barter proposal.
theleopard, Mar 08 2007
  

       A minute is a thousand years in eternity... thats 5,000 years of torture, buddy.

What you should have said is: "Definitions: A minute is defined as the amount of time it takes for a Working Clock in The World to Count sixty Seconds. Working is defined as the commonlaw definition of unbroken: Not slowed by Worldly standards, and not interfeared with, nor in any kind of temporal interfearance field. A Clock is a common timekeeping device such as are used by the majority of living humans in the World to determine temporal relativities and the passage of time. The World is defined as the plane of existance wholly outside and above Hell, and not in any part controlled by the Devil. To Count is to add up or calculate in standard measurements a number. A Second is defined as the standard measurement called a Second and used by the majority of living humans in the World to determine temporal relativities and the passage of time.

Thats what wou should have said. now it's too late...
Voice, Aug 13 2008
  

       //2.2.1 upon the signing of the Contract the Devil will put in place certain measures to ensure the Client is sufficiently inspired in their inventions and that those that are submitted to the Halfbakery will receive the sufficient positive votes to warrant two and a half "Croissants". //

Did anyone else notice how fast "Achilles Biscuit" went to two-and-a-half croissants?
hippo, Aug 13 2008
  

       //2.2.2 The Devil will not attempt to claim the Client's Soul until 50 of the Client's ideas have been voted upon to the level as set out in 2.2.1.//   

       Following the Achilles Biscuit, 10% of my soul's asking price has been fulfilled...
theleopard, Aug 13 2008
  

       I was waiting for you to bring this up...   

       10% of nothing is nothing...   

       Speaking of partly fufilling obligations, you may have noticed my lack of contacting you during the recent tour of England. This is because we did not make the tour. However we should be on your shores early next year. I will be pleased to make your acquaintance as I still have that cheque, in your nomeclature, for the sum of 400 million, from my agrievoiusly deceased step-uncle.
4whom, Aug 13 2008
  

       I didn't bring it up!   

       As for the tour, I'll have to send you a new email address as I have since moved jobs. Either that or bake it closer to the time.   

       [hold on, are you saying I have no soul?!]
theleopard, Aug 13 2008
  

       If a Borg sells their soul, do they still get to communicate with the rest of the collective, and does the collective benefit or suffer? How does that work?
RayfordSteele, Dec 15 2011
  

       //Existential Contract Lawyers and Associates// Is Daniel Webster a partner? More of a trial lawyer than a drafter of contracts, but he was famously successful in this kind of case.
mouseposture, Dec 16 2011
  

       //If a Borg sells their soul //   

       That's an interesting point, but does the Borg have a soul? Might prove difficult to assimilate.
theleopard, Dec 16 2011
  
      
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