Attorneys in California who have been drafting contracts in blood, due to a belief that this will make the contract especially binding, should stop.
Actually, attorneys anywhere who have been doing this should stop.
As I noted back in 2007, a trial court rejected Kim Jin-Soo’s argument that his written agreement with another man should be binding, although it was essentially just the other man’s promise to pay a debt and was not given in exchange for anything. As the judge wrote at that time, “The court will refuse to enforce a gratutitous contract, even when it’s written in blood.”
This month, the California Court of Appeals agreed. Kim v. Son, No. G039818 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2009) (unpublished decision).
Unfortunately, the blood is really irrelevant to the analysis, though the court did take every opportunity to refer to the document as a “blood agreement.” So I just offer the decision as a public service to those who might be thinking about opening a vein to draft a really important contract.