The Fine Art of Intimidating Disgruntled Beneficiaries with In Terrorem Clauses
Beyer, Gerry W.
Dickinson, Rob G.
Wake, Kenneth L.
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This article first observes the in terrorem clause's history and development by providing examples of precedent and actual in terrorem provisions used from ancient times through the earliest decisions of the United States’ courts. It then examines the four approaches courts and legislators in the United States currently follow to evaluate the provisions. Next, the article’s focus shifts to the use and judicial treatment of the clause in Texas, its validity in the state, and the uncertainty resulting from the reported decisions. Finally, the article addresses the need for a comprehensive in terrorem statute in Texas and concludes with a proposed statute designed to provide predictability to the law of in terrorem provisions.