Any US Contract Law Limiting Small Print?

How much can the small print taketh away, and how obvious does it need to be? Obviously, no binding clause can be outright illegal, but what if the small print on a car lease agreement gave the company the right to repossess your auto if you were ever stopped for any traffic violation whatsoever? What if the small print was actually on the back of the (apparently single-sided) contract?

(On a related note, what if one party challenges a contract and the contracts held by both parties manifestly do not match? Imagine each contract contains a clause the other does not, each clause at variance being beneficial to the side holding that version of the contract. Just how far does the judge toss the losers out of his courtroom, and are they expected to bounce? ;))

Generally, if it’s there and you signed it, you’re stuck.

There are a couple exceptions. For example, the UCC requires that certain disclaimers of warranty be “prominent”. Something in the fine print wouldn’t qualify.

Under your second scenario, I’d need to know more to comment. Who signed which version? Both signed both? Any evidence of later alteration?

Yeah, IAAL, but not in your state, and not your lawyer. This is general information, and not meant to be reliable legal advice. See a lawyer licensed in your state for that.

(I’ve gotta get around to making that my sig.)

Here, I thought this was about limiting the size of the text itself. Which the SEC does on annual reports.

New York State has rules on the minimum print size that can be used in insurance contracts in that state. (No smaller than 9 point, as I recall.)

As New York is a big market, many insurance companies simply follow those rules for all their contracts, rather than having to provide a separate set for New York.

This is purely for my own curiosity. I wouldn’t ask the on the Dope for real legal advice.

I thought there was some limits on how small the text can be. (I won’t even get into all the myriad ways you can define `point’ in relation to font size: I presume the statutes cover that as well.) My questions all focus on how you can make important text radically less discoverable by either hiding a vital clause in a wad of fine print or putting the fine print in a place nobody would ever think to look.

As for my second question, suppose both sides copied the signatures and seals onto a new contract that contains their clause of choice. That is, they both enter the courtroom with forged documents. Given that they are both equally guilty, what could the penalty be?