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Non-Disparagement Provisions

A non-disparagement provision is a clause in a contract that prohibits one or both parties from making negative or derogatory statements about the other. In simpler terms, it is an agreement to not bad-mouth or talk negatively about someone and their services or products.

Why is a Non-Disparagement Provision Used?

1. Protecting Reputation: Companies and individuals value their reputations. A non-disparagement clause can help safeguard against harmful or untrue statements that can tarnish those reputations.

2. Encouraging Amicable Resolutions: In the event of a dispute, such non-disparagement provision encourages parties to resolve their issues professionally without resorting to damaging public statements.

Key Points to Remember:

1. Scope: The provision can vary in its scope. Non-disparagement can pertain to verbal comments, written statements, online posts, or any other form of communication.

2. Enforcement: If someone violates the provision, they may face penalties, which are usually outlined in the contract. Such penalty could include financial damages or other remedies.

3. Freedom of Speech: While parties can agree not to disparage each other, this provision should not be used to suppress lawful, honest, and necessary communications. For instance, a person should not be, and in many scenarios will not be prevented from testifying truthfully in court due to the existence or enforcement of a non-disparagement clause.


Non-disparagement provisions are designed to encourage professionalism and protect reputations. However, like all contractual terms, such provision must be clearly defined and fairly applied. If you are considering including such a provision in a contract or if you are asked to agree to one, it is a good idea to consult with legal counsel to ensure it is in your best interests.


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