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Re^8: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community (ot: disclaimer necessary?)

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on Jan 20, 2006 at 08:46 UTC ( #524428=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^7: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
in thread PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community

Just out of curiousity, I've always wondered whether you lawyer people have to put disclaimers like that whenever you say something that is vaguely like legal advice? Is it just habit from other scenarios? Is it so drilled into your collective heads in law school that you must disclaim everything which you aren't getting paid for and you thus just do it out of habit? Even though its probably not really necessary?

I mean, here we are on a public site, you are using a semi-anonymous account, your comment contains nothing like a directive to the person you are replying to, etc. Is there really a risk that you or some or other lawyer in such a context could have issues if you dont explicitly disclaim your comments? I could understand such a risk in other contexts, but here? Or on a list site like groklaw or whatever?

And I ask this fully understanding that you are not my lawyer and that whatever you say is understood to be under the disclaimer we are discussing. :-)


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Re^9: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community (ot: disclaimer necessary?)
by SamCG (Hermit) on Jan 20, 2006 at 15:46 UTC
    Well, there's a set of reasons behind it, but it doesn't have to do with working for free. Lawyers are allowed to do that (pro bono work).

    It really has to do with establishing the attorney-client relationship. Legally, it's established when the client thinks it is, regardless of what the lawyer thinks. There is a certain standard of reasonableness, but courts will often come down with decisions that appear anything but reasonable. This makes most lawyers leery, particularly since the cases they most often study are the outlandish ones, and most lawyers are not experts in legal ethics (heh, heh). If a lawyer-client relationship is established, it can be difficult for the lawyer to terminate it, even if they're not being paid or the client is difficult(it could involve an appeal to a judge if they're in a current case).

    And, yes, you're right, it's probably not necessary here. But lawyers get used to using a LOT of extra words, and typing a disclaimer is a small effort. Also, a small part of it was kind of a joke, particularly the reference to privilege (clearly here it should be obvious that the communication is not private).

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