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Is it typical for a book publishing contract to read that "either party may terminate this agreement WITH CAUSE"?

Middletown, NY |

The "with cause" concerns me because my definition of cause may be different than theirs. If I just wanted to explore other options, could this present a problem down the road?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

It is not atypical to have such a clause in a contract but it is not the only type of termination clause. Cause usually involves misconduct. Don't know what a writer can do to terminate such a clause but that is why, if this is a lot of money involved, it might be worthwhile to have an attorney review the contract.


Your question is a good one. What is "good cause shown" to disavow the contract? You should hire an attorney, have the lawyer go over all "four corners" of the agreement and see if 'good cause' is defined therein or can otherwise put into meaningful context for you.

In other words, one would have to know the relationship of the parties, the goal(s) of the agreement and everything else that has been memorialized (put into writing and duly signed).


Termination for cause language is typical in many contracts. What is generally found is a definition or description of what constitutes "cause". Cause is often described as ie. conviction of a crime, filing bankuptcy, , or a material breach of a significant contract provision. Have an attorney review the contract before moving forward.

The responses provided to your questions are not legal advice, do not create any attorney client relationship, and are provided for informational purposes only.