In our ever-accelerating and ambiguous world, the force majeure clause, a standard provision in most legal agreements, becomes more important than ever. Here are three samples, courtesy of

1. Force Majeure. In no event shall the Trustee be responsible or liable for any failure or delay in the performance of its obligations hereunder arising out of or caused by, directly or indirectly, forces beyond its control, including, without limitation, strikes, work stoppages, accidents, acts of war or terrorism, civil or military disturbances, nuclear or natural catastrophes or acts of God, and interruptions, loss or malfunctions of utilities, communications or computer (software and hardware) services; it being understood that the Trustee shall use reasonable efforts which are consistent with accepted practices in the banking industry to resume performance as soon as practicable under the circumstances.

2. Force Majeure. If either party fails to fulfill its obligations hereunder (other than an obligation for the payment of money), when such failure is due to an act of God, or other circumstances beyond its reasonable control, including but not limited to fire, flood, civil commotion, riot, war (declared and undeclared), revolution, or embargoes, then said failure shall be excused for the duration of such event and for such a time thereafter as is reasonable to enable the parties to resume performance under this Agreement, provided however, that in no event shall such time extend for a period of more than one hundred eighty (180) days.

3. Force Majeure (a) No Provider (nor any Person acting on its behalf) shall have any liability or responsibility for failure to fulfill any obligation under this Agreement so long as and to the extent to which the fulfillment of such obligation is prevented, frustrated, hindered or delayed as a consequence of circumstances of Force Majeure; provided, that (i) the Provider (or such Person) shall have exercised commercially reasonable efforts to minimize the effect of Force Majeure on its obligations; and (ii) the nature, quality and standard of care that the Provider shall provide in delivering a Service after a Force Majeure shall be substantially the same as the nature, quality and standard of care that the Provider provides to its Affiliates and its other business components with respect to such Service. In the event of an occurrence of a Force Majeure, the Provider shall give notice of suspension as soon as reasonably practicable to the other stating the date and extent of such suspension and the cause thereof, and the Provider shall resume the performance of such obligations as soon as reasonably practicable after the removal of such cause. In such event, the Recipient shall be relieved of any and all obligations in respect of the payment of any Service Charge for the applicable suspended Service with respect to the period of time such Service is suspended as a result of the applicable Force Majeure. (b) During the term of this Agreement, including during the period of a Force Majeure, the Recipient shall be entitled to seek an alternative service provider with respect to any Service(s) (at Recipients own expense).

In this uncertain environment, why not consider some additions or modifications to these standard clauses, including but not limited to–

Godzilla, zombie apocalypse, talking cats, demonic possession, mosquito-borne illnesses including West Nile Virus, Dengue fever and Zika virus, epidemics, pandemics, plagues, ennui, irony, despair, breath on a mirror, heat waves, identity theft, alien invasions, meteor strikes, tectoninc shifts, paradigm shifts, buckling of the jet stream, Category 6 hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, reactor meltdowns, failure of the power grid due to side-effects of human-caused climate change, that burning sensation, seizures, blood clots, bed sores, amputations, erections lasting over 4 hours, runaway inflation, conflicts of interest, interference by a foreign government in duly-held elections, total collapse of the global economy and subsequent adoption of standard currency of artisanal chocolate bars.

Feel free to use any or all of these examples to suit your needs!



Voima Oy lives on the western rim of Chicago, near the expressway and the Blue Line trains. Her writing can be found online at VERStype, Paragraph Planet, 101 Fiction, Unbroken Journal, Vignette Review, Molotov Cocktail–Flash Worlds, Burning House Press, and The Cabinet of Heed. Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy and #vss365.

About the banner image: With the more general use of flying machines,the old legal maxim that the ownership of land extends upward indefinitely will no doubt be modified. The aerial ocean should be as free as the Atlantic or the Pacific.