Risks of Apparent Authority: Avoiding Binding Agreements by Unauthorized Employees and Agents

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 (in 10 days)

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

(Alert: Event date has changed from 9/5/2019!)

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will enable corporate counsel to educate and guide clients away from unintentional liability or obligations due to agreements or conduct arising from the apparent (but not actual) authority of employees and other agents or representatives.


Under the doctrine of apparent authority (sometimes called apparent agency), a principal can be bound by the acts (including promises) of its agent when it would be reasonable to believe that the agent had authority, even in the absence of actual authority. This concept crosses over many areas of substantive law--apparent authority is not only problematic in contract cases but also employment, injury, creditors rights, and medical malpractice, among many others.

Counsel can make companies aware of the steps that can be taken to limit exposure to apparent authority risks. Some actions may seem obvious such as disclaimers on communications or broad notices on websites. Counsel should design additional steps tailored to how the client company does business.

Adverse litigation outcomes when companies are not careful demonstrate the dangers of failing to prevent apparent authority problems proactively. Verdicts in the six and seven figure range are not infrequent. Given that in many such cases, the absence of actual authority is not at issue, the results were avoidable.

Listen as our panel of practitioners who have been a part of these outcomes shares the tools to minimize the chances of unintended obligations. The group will not only address an overview of the law but also practical guidance to implement quickly.



  1. Elements of apparent authority
    1. Conduct of the principal
    2. Reasonable belief
  2. Application of apparent authority in particular situations
    1. Contract
    2. Insurance
    3. Employment
    4. Debtor/creditor
    5. Real estate
    6. Injury (including medical malpractice)
  3. Steps to avoiding becoming obligated under apparent authority
    1. Disclaimers
    2. Training
    3. Situation-specific


The panel will review these and other critical matters:

  • General legal principles regarding apparent authority
  • The role of apparent authority in contracts
  • Tort liability relating to apparent authority
  • Proactive steps to limit exposure


Rogers, Maya
Maya Simmons Rogers

Managing Partner
Simmons Rogers

Ms. Rogers has had the opportunity to represent entrepreneurs and business executives in a wide variety of transactions...  |  Read More

Trembly, Brett
Brett Trembly

Founding Partner
Trembly Law Firm

In the South Florida legal community, Mr. Trembly is a former President of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association and...  |  Read More

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