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Seek Legal Advice

But do you? And how important is it really?

7:00 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 1, 2003
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I'm seeing an increasing number of posts which advise the reader to 'seek legal advice', or state 'we are unable to give legal advice'. It seems to be becoming part of the disclaimer culture, somehow making any advice which you give contrary to the law no longer your responsibility... or maybe it isn't?

We sign up to EULAs which are more than likely giving the issuer full immunity against everything, and rights to our estate if the software does us in. We're told that trademarks are the property of Widget Corp. but we don't take any action (in general) based upon it. We're told that our home is at risk if we do not keep up payments on our mortgage, blah blah, but we don't read it - we've seen it before, we don't need to find an accountant to check the ramifications. We're even told to consult a doctor before trying a new diet, and very few of us actually do.

From the posts in WW I would have to hire a lawyer every time I:

Register a domain name
Opened a public forum
Received a 302 Redirect
Had content copied from my site
Opened a 'sucks' site
Find a spam email

I know it is against certain charters here to give legal advice. But do you - having heard you should 'seek legal advice' - go and hire a lawyer? Honestly? Have you seen what they charge (and compared it to your first year earning projection for a new site?) - more still is it's the 'specialist trademark' type frequently recommmended here?

If you give advice but say that the reader should seek legal advice - does that mean your advice was just random noise on the internet and should be entirely ignored (why did you bother to write it?).

7:52 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If I sought legal advice every time I was told to, I would not have any money left for anything else. Lawyers are necessary at times but not as necessary as they like to think of themselves.
8:04 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When I started my ebusiness I contacted my lawyer (his specialty is business law) and asked him what legal advice he had for me. His advice was "buy liability insurance instead of paying me a fee for services you don't need now." I did.

Several times over the years, I've called him when issues have come up where I needed an authoritative opinion on whether there was a legal issue or not. Thus far I haven't needed his services, but, the way things are, at least in the U.S., this could change any minute.

My knowledge of the internet world and potential legal problems in ecommerce have increased tremendously since I joined. THANK YOU, WW.

12:09 am on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not all questions require a legal advice and not all advices need to be paid for.

If I came to the board and asked a specific question that could jeopardize my company, I would expect the guys who answer to tell me if I need legal advice or if I can just take their word for it.

Not so much here in the UK but in the US, with every state you have a different set of laws, so noone exept someone who encountered the exact same problem (is their such thing?) can help you.

I must admit I have used the -

Not sure if I can be of help but if I were you I would try to get some legal advice ...
from [webmasterworld.com...]

in that case it involves trademark and copyright (me think) which can get guy who started the post in a lot of trouble if he just believes what one's told him.

I believe that telling someone to get legal advice, is still a good advice :)

my 0.02 p