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Professor Addresses Abusive NDAs


“The list of abusive NDAs runs long. Manufacturers using secret settlements to suppress information about defective products, as General Motors did with its faulty ignition switches. The Catholic Church using confidentiality agreements to hide priest abuse,” writes Professor Alan Garfield in “Abusive non-disclosure agreements like Trump's need to be stopped,” a recent column in the Wilmington News Journal.

Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) have become an area of legal interest of because of President Donald Trump’s broad use of them. In the article, Garfield argues that there are good reasons for limitations on the use of NDAs, particularly NDAs written in overly broad language.

“Trump’s NDAs go way beyond protecting legitimate confidential information,” writes Garfield. Garfield suggests that perhaps President Trump “wants to suppress information about his character, his fitness for office, and even his sanity,” before noting, “Fortunately, contracts are not sacrosanct. From time immemorial, courts have refused to enforce contracts that violate public policy. Obvious examples are agreements with hitmen or drug dealers.”

Professor Garfield’s entire article appears on the News Journal’s website, though a subscription may be required.