It is very often used to insure that litigation is terminated when a settlement or compromise between the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) is reached. A general release may release any claims known or unknown that the releasor may have against the releasee, the release may also be very specific, i.e. dealing with specific acts between the parties and not applying to any other acts.
Generally a release is of the form:
However, most releases are much more detailed in the recitation of what is being released and the extent of the release (where it is valid, when it become valid if there are conditions on its validity, the amount of consideration if it is substantial) and they are either copied and modified as necessary from various form books or drafting manuals used by lawyers or are preprinted forms that are purchased from legal form publishers.
Releases should be drafted by a lawyer, solicitor or civil law notary, except perhaps in the most routine of situations; if the release is not correctly drafted or does not recite any necessary limiations the releasee may find out later that the release did not cover all circumstances and the releasor may find that the release was too general and released some claim, right or entitlement that the releasor should have retained.
National Academy of Sciences Group Recommending Methods to Facilitate Transition of Cleanup Programs from Problem Identification and Remedy Selection to Long-Term Management
Nov 16, 2012; The National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), today released a report, "Alternatives for...