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Sign Without Reading? -- The ISBA Advises Against It

Question:  Like many people, I often sign a contract without reading the fine print. Should I be concerned?

Answer:  People often glance over a contract and sign it without knowing what their obligations are. Problems can and do arise even in the simplest of purchases where contracts were signed before the purchaser read the fine print. For example, a growing number of contracts have clauses built in that eliminate the right to a trial or the option to pursue a class action in court, and instead mandate arbitration. If you have questions about any contract, no matter what the size or nature of your purchase or agreement, it is best to consult with a lawyer before signing it.       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit

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