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From Manny P to Gilbert G, When Accepting Gifts or Sponsoring a Celebrity, include The Morals Clause

Whether it’s a contract for selling socks or a large gift at a University, a good attorney should incorporate a morals clause in their contracts. It is reminiscent of my public interest work while at law school. I went to Touro Law Center, a law school observing the Jewish faith. From only allowing kosher food at its events to celebrating wonderful Jewish lawyers and jurists, the school embraced Judaism. Every day I would walk into the Randolph P. Hearst Public Advocacy Center to do my public interest work. If you cannot see the irony in this, do some research and you will see what I am talking about. Here, it is a problem because, whether you utilize an angry duck or a famous boxer, disparaging comments can impact your business. Here, Manny Pacquiao made a homophobic comment which killed his multimillion-dollar sponsorship. Corporate Counsel indicates that he has now joined a long list of celebrities including Tiger Woods and Kate Moss:

Like most any other clause in a contract between a company and a representative, morals clauses can be subject to a lot of negotiation. Some are narrowly tailored; for instance, making employment contingent on not breaking the law. Others are purposefully broad, demanding that an employee or representative avoid scandal, immorality or anything that would publicly embarrass the company.

Whether you are naming the hallway of a law school or sponsoring a comedian, legal counsel should always incorporate such clauses into contracts and acceptance of large corporate gifts....

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