Release of Liability for Home Studio Classes?

A friend has been teaching beginning jewelry classes through an art
gallery in her town. The gallery owner is now closing the gallery to
pursue other interests. My friend wants to continue teaching basic
jewelry classes, has studio space in her home, and has asked me to
co-teach some of the classes with her. Can anyone recommend a model
liability release for such a situation? My friend’s homeowners
insurance might cover her, but only if she’d already written teaching
home classes into the policy coverage. I’ve heard that other people
have been reluctant to give classes in their home studios because of
the liability, but don’t know any more about it than that. Has
anyone been burned teaching classes in their home?

Thanks, Mona


You should speak to an attorney. I’m pretty sure that you can’t
avoid liability just by having someone sign a release form.


Mona, my wife, Praparat Sturlin, has a private cooking school at our
residence and her teaching activities are covered under our
homeowners insurance policy. (We have three kitchens in our home: our
house kitchen, her professional classroom kitchen, and an open-air
Thai style cooking area).

She has been teaching Thai culinary arts for the past 12 years in
this location, and as I recall, it was very affordable to include
liability insurance which does cover her students. She has never had
a problem with anyone being injured in class, but in this
hyper-litigious society of ours it would be best to make sure that
you are protected.

Michael David Sturlin

Mona, In addition to liability problems, you must also make sure that
this does not void your fire insurance, unless you are not working
with a torch or a kiln.


I put basically the same question on the list about two months
ago… and didn’t get any response at all. I also went to the NOLO
press book store, which has a lot of legal forms, however the closest
thing I found was for contractors. Some of the forms were so complex
in legal terms that my students (and myself) wouldn’t even be able to
understand half of it! The other thing, for me, is that I want a form
that is legal but at the same time tempered by a language/mood that’s
more friendly. I don’t want to scare people off.

Nothing seemed to fit an artist/studio/teacher situation. So I’m
still looking. I feel about ready to find a lawyer and pay to get one

Let me know if you find anything!
San Francisco

Definitely, contact a lawyers and you’re insurance agent. In my
state (Illinois), many judges believe, then the juries are
instructed, that a release from liability, is in “legalese” a
confession of having a dangerous environment, thus increasing your
liability. So, have a contract requiring the students to exercise all
due caution and prudence. Then if they injure themselves the teacher
/ instructor has the upper hand to sue and or counter sue the student
for neglecting proper safety measures and damage to the shop and
endangering other students and endangering the instructors, then the
lawyers and insurance lawyers can hash it out of court, then go to
the Bahamas.

If this makes no sense, you’re an artist, you’re not a lawyer,
non-sense is a lawyers stock in trade. Lawyers own the big fancy
houses, show and sell all the lawyers some jewelry. (Sorry to be so
cynical, but I read the news.)

See your Lawyers and pay your insurance premiums on time, then pray.

have fun,
make art,
Ed :<)

When my brother broke his neck and became paralyzed (full
quadraplegic) in an above ground swimming pool 16 years ago, through
his own drunken actions, an attorney told him that if there were a
warning sticker on the pool from the manufacturer about diving that
you could sue the pool manufacturer and the pool owner because they
KNEW the pool was dangerous, and if there were no warning sticker,
then you could sue them because they had not warned you of the
possible danger of diving in this kind of pool. So, damned if you do,
and damned if ya don’t! So I am not sure what type of situation you
would have if you had someone sign a waiver in case of injury during
a paid schooling scenario on a residential property. Zoning
ordinances could play into this heavily too. Ed in Kokomo