Terms of Service

Best Efforts. Touchstone Research Group, LLC ("Touchstone" or "TRG") is a company that conducts and provides research products and services on historical topics for its Clients. Touchstone's research products and services shall be provided on a "best efforts" basis. Research is, by its nature, unpredictable and, as a result, Touchstone will not guarantee a successful outcome or any particular result. Furthermore, if an analysis of research data is made, Touchstone shall provide only its opinion; Client understands that other interpretations of the data may be possible.

Independent Contractor. Touchstone shall perform its work as an independent contractor.

Client Disclosure. Client shall provide to Touchstone all reports, summaries of previous research, copies of records, notes on sources previously researched, Family Group Sheets, Pedigree Charts, etc. for the persons to be researched, and any other information within Client's possession that may aid Touchstone in its research. Client understands that incomplete, inaccurate, imprecise, and misspelled information will make more difficult and may frustrate Touchstone's research efforts.

Rates & Pricing. Products or services which are offered at a stated price are firm; there are no hidden or additional charges.

For custom research, research is billed at an agreed hourly rate at 15 minute increments plus related expenses including travel. Mileage expense is computed at $0.65 per mile or $40 per hour, whichever is less. Next-business-day service is billed at 150% of standard rates. Same-business-day and weekend/holiday service is billed at 200% of standard rates. Our minimum research billing time per project is two (2) hours excluding travel time. Travel time and mileage are calculated to/from our local researcherís base (i.e. we have researchers available in New York, London, Paris, Washington DC, and proximate to other research facilities), in addition to all mileage incurred during the research project. Sales taxes, database charges, express service, purchasing/photocopying/scanning documents, are charged as incurred. Special administrative requests are not included in the hourly rate or service fee. Unless otherwise requested, all reports, invoices, pictures and document scans are provided to our clients electronically through the Client Section of this website. Day rates are available for extended daily research assignments. Project and not-to-exceed billing rates are also available. Expert witness deposition and testimony fees and arrangements are negotiated separately on a case-by-case basis.

Charges & Billing Practices. Touchstone shall maintain documentation for all charges against the Client under this Agreement, and shall provide an itemization to Client of all such charges. Unless otherwise agreed, invoices for research services and related expenses are issued monthly within 15 days after the close of each month. All invoices are due and payable within 15 (15) days of receipt. Invoices thirty (30) days past due will be charged interest at the rate of 1.5% per month (annual rate of 18%). Invoices sixty (60) days past due will be referred for collection.

No Refunds. You understand by agreeing to the terms herein that you have purchased the service stated. Therefore, due to such acceptance, refunds are not possible for any reason including, but not limited to:

  1. Subsequent to your order, you locate the documents which you have requested;
  2. Delays in the Governmentís processing of your Request, and/or their inability to fulfill your Request in whole or in part;
  3. Document procurement difficulties, including changes in policy, regulations or requirements.
The foregoing list is representative only.

Privacy & Confidentiality. The privacy of our clients and the nature of their research project is of the utmost importance. Protecting your privacy and the information you provide to us is one of our top priorities. Private and nonpublic personal information is protected in accordance with applicable law and we will endeavor to protect information you provide to us through our web site, the U.S. mail, over the telephone, email and fax. Touchstone shall not disclose any nonpublic personal information to any third party unless the disclosure is permitted or required by law, or the Client has authorized the disclosure of the information.

Copyright. Touchstone grants Client a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the research products and services provided hereunder. Title and property rights to all intellectual property created by Touchstone and included within its research products and services are and shall remain with Touchstone; Touchstone shall retain copyright to all of its intellectual property contained within any of its work product, including any reports prepared by Touchstone. Client may make limited numbers of personal copies of Touchstone's report as a "fair use" of the copyrighted material; however Client may not make multiple copies of the report, publish or distribute the report to others without advance written permission from Touchstone. Client agrees that any information extracted from the report, including findings and conclusions, that is used in Family Histories, Family Group Sheets, Pedigrees, Descendant Reports or any other published or shared report(s) will credit Touchstone's report as the source.

Limitation of Liability. In the event that the research products or services fail to conform in any manner to this Agreement or any specifications of Touchstone, the Client's sole remedy and Touchstone's sole liability shall be limited to the amount of any fees collected by Touchstone from Client . IN NO EVENT WILL TOUCHSTONE BE LIABLE TO THE CLIENT FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES EVEN IF TOUCHSTONE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. TOUCHSTONE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO THE CLIENT FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL LOSSES OR DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF REVENUE; LOSS OF CUSTOMERS, CLIENTS OR MEMBERS; LOSS OF GOODWILL; OR LOSS OF PROFITS ARISING IN ANY MANNER FROM THIS AGREEMENT AND THE PERFORMANCE OR NON-PERFORMANCE OF ANY OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.

Indemnification. The Client shall indemnify and hold Touchstone harmless from and against any and all lawsuits, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses (including reasonable attorney's fees in connection with the investigation, defense, or settling of any such loss, claim, damage, action or proceeding) related to or arising out of the Client's use of the research products or services provided by Touchstone. This indemnification provision shall survive any termination of this Agreement.

Force Majeure. In the event Touchstone is prevented or hindered from complying with any of the requirements of this Agreement by reason of war, riots, embargoes, strikes or by operation of force majeure or any federal or state law or any order, rule or regulation of governmental authority, then, while so prevented, Touchstone's obligation to comply with such requirement shall be suspended and Touchstone shall not be liable for failure to comply therewith. Should such occurrences continue for more than ninety (90) days, either Touchstone or the Client may terminate this Agreement without further liability to the other.

Dispute Resolution. Touchstone and Client agree that all disputes regarding Touchstone's fees or expenses or performance are to be resolved by binding arbitration, pursuant to the Better Business Bureau, by a single arbitrator appointed in accordance with those rules, located in New York City.† Any cause of action arising out of Touchstone's provision of research products or services shall be instituted within one year after the claim has arisen or such cause of action shall be barred.

Entire Agreement. This Agreement sets forth the entire agreement of the parties and may not be modified except by written amendment executed by each of the parties. In the event any provision of this Agreement is determined to be invalid, all other provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

Website and Internet Policies. Please review our policies with regard to our website: Ordering & Payment (including our Return & Refund Policies) and Privacy Notice posted elsewhere on this site. These policies govern your visit to The Touchstone Research Store.

We also recommend that you read our Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) where we address many of the questions which are commonly asked by our clients.

We reserve the right to make changes to our site, policies, and these Terms of Service at any time.

Choice of Law. This Agreement shall be construed according to, and be governed by the laws of the State of New York.

YOUR PURCHASE AND USE OF TOUCHSTONE'S RESEARCH PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, INCLUDING YOUR USE OF THIS WEBSITE, CONSTITUTES ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS OF SERVICE.

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