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A release gives up a right, such as releasing one from his/her liability for harm or damage that may occur from performing under a contract, or participating in an activity. A release acts as some assurance to the person requesting the release that he/she will not be subjected to litigation resulting from the person giving the release. The term waiver is sometimes used to refer a document that is signed before any damages actually occur. A release is sometimes used to refer a document that is executed after an injury has occurred.
Courts vary in their approach to enforcing releases depending on the particular facts of each case, the effect of the release on other statutes and laws, and the view of the court of the benefits of releases as a matter of public policy. Many courts will invalidate documents signed on behalf of minors. Also, Courts do not permit persons to waive their responsibility when they have exercised gross negligence or misconduct that is intentional or criminal in nature.
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