What is a California Release in Florida?

EPGD Law Contract

What is a California Release Provision?

The term “California Release” is a reference to California Civil Code § 1542. This section is intended to protect a party from releasing potential liability claims that it does not know exist at the time of executing a release agreement.

Under California law, a “general release” of claims releases the parties from all mutual obligations and all known claims. The language of § 1542 notably states that a general release does not extend to unknown or suspected claims. This means that if one party violated an agreement, but the other party does not find out about the violation until after the agreement has been dissolved, the injured party can still bring a claim and file a lawsuit.

Thus, to be completely protected, the language of the release agreement must include release of liability from all claims,  known or unknown, from the beginning of time until the execution of the release agreement. This language is known as a California Release.

When Do You Need a California Release?

When you want to end a contract, a release and settlement agreement needs to be in writing and signed to ensure that each party no longer has obligations to one another. A release and settlement agreement is the official ending of a contractual relationship.

Including the language of a California Release will guarantee that the other party to the release agreement will not be able to file a lawsuit against you for claims arising out of the contract that was dissolved by the release agreement. For example, if you sign a release agreement with California Release language to sever a contractual relationship and later find out that the other party violated the contracted, you will not be able to sue them for breach of contract.

Should I Sign a § 1542 Waiver?

It depends. If you suspect that the other party or parties to the release agreement may have violated the initial contract, then you should not sign a release agreement with California Release language if you intend to sue for breach of contract.

On the other hand, if you want to completely walk away from a contractual relationship and have no intention of filing a lawsuit against the other party in the future, it is best to include California Release language in the release agreement.

Mutual Release Agreements

If you are severing a business relationship, it is usually best to include this California Release language, regardless of the state the release and settlement agreement is being executed. The inclusion of the language would protect you from claims the other party may have against you that you are unaware of.

Does a California Release Waive Future Claims?

A California Release does not waive future claims. This means that if two parties dissolve an agreement, then subsequently create another agreement, any claims arising from the second agreement are not barred by the dissolution and release of liability from the first agreement.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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