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Release

A contractual agreement by which one individual assents to relinquish a claim or right under the law to another individual against whom such claim or right is enforceable.

The right or claim given up in a release ordinarily involves contracts or torts. A general release encompasses all claims that are in existence between the parties and are within their contemplation when the release is executed. A specific release is generally limited to the particular claims specified therein.

No particular form or language is required for a release, provided the contract is complete and clearly indicates the releasor's intention. In the absence of a specific statutory provision, releases need not be in writing.

In order for it to take effect, a release must be supported by adequate consideration. Provided something of value is received, the consideration will be deemed adequate. The consideration can take various forms—such as payment to an employee for time lost due to an injury, in exchange for a release of the employee's damage claim; or repossession of a particular item in exchange for the release or discharge of a debt.

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