I am a commenter, but not your commenter June 4, 2008 4:19 AM   Subscribe

Please, for the love of all that is holy, can we please stop?

With this crap:

"I am not a doctor or dentist, not your doctor or dentist, and you are not my patient. This is not medical advice, it is only to be use for education purposes."

Why do people do it? Is it a joke that I'm not getting? It's the internet! Of course you're not my lawyer!

Can we have a truce? Can we assume that it's stated and obvious that nobody is nobody else's professional and quit wasting electrons?
posted by gjc to Etiquette/Policy at 4:19 AM (187 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

No, because someone somewhere might decide to sue. It's CYA, and we're not getting any better about it in today's world.

Yes, it might be obvious to you, and me, and most 'reasonable' people, but that's far from comforting when someone does something stupid and gets hurt/arrested/taken financial advantage of, whatever.
posted by pupdog at 4:26 AM on June 4, 2008


IANAL, but I think the caveat protects posters from litigations.
..teehee
posted by ruelle at 4:28 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you received this answer in error, please notify the original sender and delete all copies.
posted by flabdablet at 4:31 AM on June 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


No, we cannot. I believe that in the U.S. you can get sued for just about anything and maybe some people -particularly those with expertise in certain areas- don't want to get exposed to that.

Pissing you off seems a small price to pay for everyone else getting a lot of valuable advice for free.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 4:31 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally think 98% of it is more MSMD than CYA, and would be very interested in hearing even so much as a rumor of an anecdote about anyone whose A was ever actually C'd by this kind of moron disclaimer on an internet forum. But you're not going to be able to stop it. (Well, the [more inside] jokes mostly got quelched; you could put a blanket disclaimer down in the foot of Ask pages and delete the kneejerk acronyms, but that'd be work...)
posted by Wolfdog at 4:38 AM on June 4, 2008


You've been here since January, and you've made two MeTa posts in the last week?

LURK MOAR

posted by jacalata at 4:41 AM on June 4, 2008


"You've been here since January, and you've made two MeTa posts in the last week? "

Yeah, but s/he's answered a hefty 829 answers in that time. Assuming even 10% of them are of use, I think this qualifies them to make 2 Ask Metafilter-related Metatalk posts in the same period, even if they do both occur in the same week.

I haven't checked, though, so it is an assumption.
posted by nthdegx at 4:46 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please, for the love of all that is holy, can you please stop asking us to behave the way you want us to? Go choke on a bucket of phillips head screwdrivers.
posted by Plutor at 4:47 AM on June 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sooooooo welcome to Metafilter.
posted by nola at 4:54 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I haven't checked either, but this MeTa comment doesn't fill me with confidence.
posted by jacalata at 4:55 AM on June 4, 2008


Metafilter pro-tip: If your question is a variation of "Can a given population of 60,000+ digital strangers instantaneously stop doing something that I don't like?" then the answer is invariably no. Even for the love of all that is holy.
posted by Jofus at 4:59 AM on June 4, 2008 [14 favorites]


Actually, even for the love of some that is holy. Metafilter does not recognize degrees of Holiness.
posted by Jofus at 5:00 AM on June 4, 2008


I've always been curious about this: does that really work? If I give you legal advice and then add, I AM NOT YOUR LAWYER LOL, does that really make me bulletproof? Nyah nyah, can't sue now?
posted by prefpara at 5:10 AM on June 4, 2008


I am you daddeh, and I call this booshit.
posted by fire&wings at 5:13 AM on June 4, 2008


I can only find that phrase once.
posted by JanetLand at 5:29 AM on June 4, 2008


This comment will self-destruct in five seconds.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:38 AM on June 4, 2008


Why do people do it? Is it a joke that I'm not getting? It's the internet! Of course you're not my lawyer!

This article
(although it is a few years old and there may be better ones out there by now, but I haven't seen them) answers your question better than I can, but I will seek to pull out the relevant information.

A relationship of client and lawyer arises when:

(1) A person manifests to a lawyer the person's intent that the lawyer provides legal services for the person; and either

(a) the lawyer manifests to the person consent to do so; or

(b) the lawyer fails to manifest lack of consent to do so, and the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person reasonably relies on the lawyer to provide the services.

Applying this test to the cyberadvice context, the attorney-client relationship becomes quite evident. By posting a specific legal question, the putative client manifests the intent to have a lawyer provide legal advice. The lawyer can then manifest consent to provide such advice by either posting or sending a message to the client expressly stating consent or by performance - by actually providing the legal advice. (link)

Once a lawyer/client relationship is established, the lawyer owes the client a whole host of ethical duties such as confidentiality, diligence, competence, faithfulness and good judgment in the pursuit of client objectives. If the lawyer fails to provide all these things, then he or she is subject to a malpractice suit or disbarment.

I've always been curious about this: does that really work? If I give you legal advice and then add, I AM NOT YOUR LAWYER LOL, does that really make me bulletproof? Nyah nyah, can't sue now?

While courts and bar regulators have generally looked unfavorably on the use of disclaimers of liability, there may conceivably be some room for their application in particular circumstances. As Professor Lanctot has argued, "Whether a lawyer will be able to rely on a disclaimer will hinge on the nature of the request for advice, the conduct of the lawyer in response to the request, and the factual circumstances surrounding the disclaimer." A disclaimer might serve as a particularly successful defense when brought by cyberprofessionals who participate only in providing general legal and medical information to requestors. (link)

If you want to be 100% bulletproof, then you as a professional would just not give people professional advice online. I know that there are quite a few lawyers on Metafilter that do just that. I personally try to walk the line between not giving any advice at all and giving specific advice that would then lead to a lawyer/client relationship because I think that it is possible and that it is worth doing. But if seeing IANYL annoys you, I can only say that there is a valid real world reason for it, as the admittedly unlikely cost of disbarment or a malpractice suit is a high price to pay in exchange for the benefit of giving out free advice to strangers.
posted by ND¢ at 5:44 AM on June 4, 2008 [17 favorites]


Please, for the love of all that is holy, can we please stop?

But it's got a funky beat that I can bug out to!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 AM on June 4, 2008


Please, for all that is worldly, can we get on with it already?
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:05 AM on June 4, 2008


This has been discussed before. And both the IANAL phrase, and the discussion can get tiresome. But I'll pitch in anyway.

My first line of defense: selective perception. I just mentally bleep over it.

Also, I sometimes use the disclaimer myself. Not for any legal reason, but just to let the asker know how much faith to put in my answer. For example: "I'm not a mechanic, but I have had a similar issue with my Yugo, and it seemed like the problem was a worn-out rubber band." or "I'm not a doctor, but if bile is oozing out of your belly-button, you might have a serious ailment."

The "I am not..." disclaimers can be helpful because there are mechanics and doctors and lawyers who answer questions. I would give their answers more weight than someone who is not an expert in the field in question.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:13 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, I'd like to derail this needless MeTa to complain about a related issue.

If you are not a lawyer/doctor, then you are obviously not my lawyer/doctor.

This extra caveat is only relevant when the response is by an actual lawyer/doctor.

The rest of us don't get to say that. Quit it. Unless you play a lawyer/doctor on TV. Then, maybe.
posted by desuetude at 6:22 AM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


If a person actually is a lawyer, and is answering a question with legal implications, you should be concerned if he or she DOESN'T disclaim that what they are saying is legal advice. Leaving it out is stupid and careless (for a lawyer, subject to US-style professional responsibility rules) and you don't want that person's advice anyway. Seriously.

(IAAL, IANYL).
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 6:23 AM on June 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am a lawyer. I am your lawyer. From this point forward please disregard any advice that you might find on the internet, about anything. Unless it is spelled correctly. Then it is probably fine.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:30 AM on June 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


can we please stop

"We" can't stop doing anything. Not all 75000 or so members visit MetaTalk, and even if they all did, not all 75000 or so would be inclined to go along with your nefarious plan to rid the world of the the acronyms IANAD and IANAL.
posted by iconomy at 6:35 AM on June 4, 2008


You are all my doctors and lawyers, and there is no such thing as wasting electrons.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:38 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your proctologist.
posted by The Straightener at 6:39 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your gynaecologist.
posted by aihal at 6:41 AM on June 4, 2008


No, we need more of this stuff! For sex type questions: I am a lover, but I'm not your lover. Food: I am a cook, but I'm not your cook. For therapy related questions: I am a rock, I am an island, but I am not your rock and I am not your island. For depression type questions: I am the wind beneath your wings, but I am not the wind beneath your wings.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:44 AM on June 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


I am you, but only when you are talking to me. But when you are talking to me (and by you I mean me, and vice-versa) you is me and me is you.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:48 AM on June 4, 2008


It's the internet! Of course you're not my lawyer!

... I would never hire a lawyer who uses the Internet!
posted by dgaicun at 6:49 AM on June 4, 2008


I am an amateur proctologist, does that count?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:51 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


On further thought, I can't believe that you would even question what disclaimer a professional gives when giving advice to people. You sure do have a lot of nerve. What you people don't seem to realize is how lucky you are to even be interacting with doctors and (even more so cause really, they touch gross stuff for a living) lawyers. It is like when the gods used to walk the earth and give shiny rocks to mere mortals. You should thank me and recite poems to me and every other lawyer who is a mefite whenever you see us. Do you have any idea how big a deal I am? I wear a suit. I go to court. I talked to a judge once. I write stuff on legal pads. What do you do? Mess with computers? Serve coffee? We are barely the same species and yet I deign to take my valuable time (and not theoretically valuable time like yours, but time that people pay actual money for) and interact with you and say "lol bush suxxors amirite" and other wise sayings like that several times a day. Do you ever thank me? No, you just act like I am some other random loser like you and everyone you know and your mom. But I'm not. I am a lawyer! You're welcome.
posted by ND¢ at 6:55 AM on June 4, 2008 [15 favorites]


I'm going to start all my answers with "As your doctor..."

"As your doctor, I recommend you DTMFA."
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:57 AM on June 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


ND¢ - Am I genuflecting hard enough? I'm doing it as hard as I can, maybe I can genuflect 110%! If thou wouldst deign to show me thy legal briefs, I might could genuflect to 113%!!11!
posted by Mister_A at 7:01 AM on June 4, 2008


Don't ever directly address me.
posted by ND¢ at 7:02 AM on June 4, 2008 [12 favorites]


Luckily we can't because we can't find the damned cents key.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:06 AM on June 4, 2008 [8 favorites]




You might notice something that goes along with most of the "IANYL" comments: lots and lots of hedging, caveats, and admonishments to go talk to "YL".

"I am not your lawyer, but here's some legal advice" likely wouldn't impress anyone in a malpractice or disciplinary proceeding, but pointing someone in the right direction and urging them to seek counsel is actually a GOOD thing, and the commenter making it clear that they don't have all of the information and are just posting some generic information is actually a good thing.

You're basically asking for the doctors and lawyers on AskMe to either a) stop posting all together or b) stop acting like professionals.

For the love of all that is holy, can you please stop trying to screw things up?



PS: I hope your head falls off.
posted by toomuchpete at 7:08 AM on June 4, 2008


I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:14 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


IANAL is the rhythm method of Metafilter: something of dubious efficacy that makes everyone feel more protected than they actually are.
posted by googly at 7:15 AM on June 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


They call me doctor love. I've got the cure you're thinking of.

NB - IANYDL
posted by dgaicun at 7:18 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your lobotomist.

*sharpens ice pick*
posted by pardonyou? at 7:19 AM on June 4, 2008


IANAD. I didn't not go to 4 years of medical school for you to call me a doctor.
posted by inigo2 at 7:21 AM on June 4, 2008


Hey, I asked about this before, and the concensus seemed to be that for a few actual professionals it was legally important to make things crystal clear, and that everyone else who uses those disclaimers "to protect themselves" is doing so completely warrantlessly.

Though sometimes the disclaimer is useful for the POSTER'S benefit, so that they know that your medical advice is likely to be total hearsay.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:22 AM on June 4, 2008


Oh, and by "concensus" I mean, once all the shouting died down and people stopped telling me how stupid I was for not getting why it was so important, these were the only real facts left floating on the water.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:24 AM on June 4, 2008


And by "concensus" he means consensus.

[I am actually your linguist, also yr. pedant.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 AM on June 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am the eggman (woo!)
I Am The Eggman (woo!)
I Am The WALRUS (googoogajoob)

(I am not your walrus, however I could possibly be your eggman if not for the fact that I do not have a penis).
posted by h00py at 7:36 AM on June 4, 2008


Someone needs to create the gag account "Your Lawyer" and post appropriately to really milk this thread.
posted by Locative at 7:43 AM on June 4, 2008


Nothing is holy.

But your post has better grammar than the (now-closed) follow-up. Thank you for remembering the comma after "Please."
posted by Eideteker at 7:52 AM on June 4, 2008


I am woman, hear me roar.
posted by waraw at 8:06 AM on June 4, 2008


I AM SPARTACUS.

But I am not your Spartacus, in any statutory or legally-binding manner.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:07 AM on June 4, 2008


so that they know that your medical advice is likely to be total hearsay

So we've establish that Internets non-doctors don't have to worry about medical malpractice, but they do have to worry about the rules of evidence? Do non-lawyers have to worry about patient confidentiality?

I am not a comedian. IAYC.
posted by Pax at 8:12 AM on June 4, 2008


If the lawyer one brings you down, just mentally put a space between the I and the first A. Lightens the mood instantly!
posted by jontyjago at 8:14 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your pet ant (dec.).
posted by Mister_A at 8:19 AM on June 4, 2008



OK then, I'll have a go at legal and especially medical advice. I don't have anything to loose: "Yes you should shove that lightbulb up your arse, it will help your cold."

Oh, and the answer to that oft asked question is: "Eat it, there's no such thing as rancid".
posted by ob at 8:22 AM on June 4, 2008


Q: Who started the Pedant's Revolt?
A: Which Tyler.

This may be the funniest joke EVER.
posted by Jofus at 8:31 AM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


But gramcracker has been in med school since 2000! When will he be our doctor?
posted by Cranberry at 8:32 AM on June 4, 2008


I am actually your linguist, also yr. pedant.

"Yr" is spelled without a period, as it is meant to mimic informal writing much like LOLTXTMSGery.

Double-bonus pedant points, here I come!
posted by kittyprecious at 8:34 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your only friend, but I am not your only friend.

Also: glowing, actually not, actually so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:35 AM on June 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


I've always liked declarations like this, it lets me know right up front if the person is a professional in the field or not. If it helps mitigate their liability, that works too.

I am an evil overlord, but I am not your evil overlord... yet.
posted by quin at 8:45 AM on June 4, 2008


IATW (I Am Tiger Woods)

IANAC (I Am Not A Crook)

IAWHMR (I Am Woman Hear Me Roar)

IANYS (I Am Not Your Slave)
posted by pardonyou? at 8:51 AM on June 4, 2008


IATIASTTFIOEAM—OYHMYHBGYIBTNM—OOPJSHM

(I Am Thinking It's A Sign That The Freckles In Our Eyes Are Mirr— OW YOU HIT ME YOU HIT BEN GIBBARD YOU'RE IN BIG TROUBLE NOW MIS— OW OKAY PLEASE JUST STOP HITTING ME)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:58 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am not a pipe.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:59 AM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's also the fact that practicing law without a license is illegal most everywhere in America, and I presume elsewhere as well. Thus, coupled with the earlier answer by ND-cent-sign, IANAL is also appropriate.

If it bugs you enough, hire someone to write a Greasemonkey script to substitute something you like seeing.

"I fart in your general direction, nor do I fart in anyone else's direction, but it seems to me that the law states ... "
posted by WCityMike at 9:02 AM on June 4, 2008


(Although personally, I think I'd do the "your mother smelt of elderberries" line myself.)
posted by WCityMike at 9:03 AM on June 4, 2008


Don't ever directly refer to me.
posted by ND¢ at 9:04 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am an amateur proctologist, does that count?

I am an amateur proctologist, too. I am not your amateur proctologist.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 AM on June 4, 2008


The "I am not your lawyer/doctor/mechanic, and this is not legal/medical/mechanical advice..." seems reasonable and prudent for a professional to write, and if it makes them more willing or able to help strangers on the Internet, I'm all for it.

However, what's always struck me as weird are the non-lawyers, doctors, etc., that feel the need to point out their non-lawyer/doctor/mechanicdom at the beginning of each discussion. I mean, you're asking random strangers on the Internet for advice, you're going to get advice from random strangers, not necessarily credentialed experts. For anyone to simply assume "hey, this guy has obviously spent 10 minutes combing Google results and picking up lingo -- clearly he must be a qualified professional!" is a Darwin Award-level of stupid.

In a basically anonymous forum, with minimal bar to entry and where anybody can claim to be anything, it seems silly to give much credence to claimed qualifications anyway.* A really good answer should be able to stand on its own merits, independent of the speaker. (Although I'll be the first to say that this probably isn't always achievable, since many times questions just don't include enough information for a really good self-supporting answer.)

* Just to be clear: I'm not in any way impugning the qualifications of anyone here on MeFi, and I'm not saying that anyone here isn't what they claim to be. I just think the burden of evaluating responses lies ultimately on the asker.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:16 AM on June 4, 2008


That guy who is the lawyer (but not your lawyer) is right; you should all listen to him.

I am another lawyer, but I am not his lawyer. Or yours. Any of you. Well, except for the ones of you that I am, but you know who you are.
posted by yhbc at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2008


WWJD
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2008


I am self-explanatory.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:24 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't ever indirectly refer to me.
posted by ND¢ at 9:25 AM on June 4, 2008


Don't ever look directly at my comments.
posted by ND¢ at 9:26 AM on June 4, 2008


You're not the boss of me.
posted by JanetLand at 9:28 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your father.

(too easy?)
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:31 AM on June 4, 2008


ceci est une pipe, mais ceci n'est pas votre pipe.
posted by shmegegge at 9:33 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


kittyprecious writes '"Yr" is spelled without a period, as it is meant to mimic informal writing much like LOLTXTMSGery.'

Trusting as I do in Jessamyn's general literacy and ability to refrain from msn-speak, I assumed that she was actually using the more archaic version 'yr.' which used to be seen in letter writing. I had trouble googling for examples, but there are several on this page.
posted by jacalata at 9:36 AM on June 4, 2008


I am your boss, JanetLand. And I'm not paying you to read MetaFilter.

IANJLB
posted by dgaicun at 9:37 AM on June 4, 2008


I am Jack's raging bile duct.
I am Jack's cold sweat.
I Am Jack's complete lack of surprise
I Am Jack's smirking revenge.
I Am Jack's broken heart.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:43 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I Am Your Worst Nightmare
posted by pardonyou? at 9:46 AM on June 4, 2008


I'm . . .
posted by ND¢ at 9:48 AM on June 4, 2008


IASBNTS - I am Steve but not that Steve.

DISCLAIMER: I am not actually Steve.
posted by Eideteker at 9:57 AM on June 4, 2008


I assumed that she was actually using the more archaic version 'yr.'

I assumed that, by not professing any real qualifications, I could spout off any random opinion I wanted and not be called out.

Then I remembered this wasn't AskMe.

Then I used an emoticon. :(
posted by kittyprecious at 10:00 AM on June 4, 2008


I yam what I yam.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:04 AM on June 4, 2008


I am not a number

I am a free man
posted by French Fry at 10:05 AM on June 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am trying to break your heart.
posted by Kwine at 10:06 AM on June 4, 2008


I've done the "not your lawyer" caveat a number of times. I did it because back then I worked at a BigLaw firm in Chicago, and I strongly suspect they wouldn't have been in love with me giving out free legal advice under the name AgentRocket to strangers on a website - especially about California inheritance law, Virginia criminal law, and other matters outside my scope of expertise. We used to get a speech each year about how we should plug our ears until we have a signed engagement letter, to avoid risk of creation of an attorney-client relationship or a conflict of interest.

That said, when I answered those questions I felt like I had something to offer, and AskMe works because people write when they have responsive information. So the disclaimer is annoying, and it may be of dubious value, but it gave me sufficient comfort that both the OP and my firm would understand the spirit in which my answers were given.
posted by AgentRocket at 10:14 AM on June 4, 2008


I Am Cooter's Doctor.

She said so.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:16 AM on June 4, 2008


I Am Not A Cory Doctorow.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:23 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, see, I only responded because you claimed pedant points, and I saw the opportunity for a triple-twist-pedantry-reversal combo to boost my own score :)
posted by jacalata at 10:24 AM on June 4, 2008


I am metafilters chorus of whinge.
posted by iamabot at 10:29 AM on June 4, 2008


Someone needs to come up with a canonical list of MeFi annoyances. In addition to this one there can be "more inside" cleverness, misused apostrophe's, grammar nazis, in-jokes, and so on.

I am someone, but I am not that someone.
posted by TedW at 10:34 AM on June 4, 2008


I'm every woman. It's all in meee.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:39 AM on June 4, 2008


I'm a little teapot.
posted by Evangeline at 10:45 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


εγω ειμι
posted by dersins at 10:54 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am a stranger on the internet. Please take my advice.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 11:00 AM on June 4, 2008


gjc: Please, for the love of all that is holy, can we please stop ... and quit wasting electrons?

I agree completely. In fact, this fact has often caused me incredible trepidation and no small amount of worry for the future. I mean, if we're all just sitting here all day, typing and typing, and the little man in our computer-boxes is shooting our messages through the wires with his electron gun, where do all the electrons go? I know he's peeling them off of my metallic wire-atoms, so when do they come back? What if I'm not on the internet as much as everybody else-- does my computer-box get ionized? Should I fear molecular combination will get out of hand? What if the little man misses and hits some passing positron, as rare as they may be?

I think all this computing is probably a bad idea. At the very least, if we're going to be exchanging electrons like this, people ought to be required to exchange a few protons as well to keep things balanced.
posted by koeselitz at 11:01 AM on June 4, 2008


IASBNTS - I am Steve but not that Steve.

There are many Steves to choose from. The morphology of Steve. [PDF]
posted by Tehanu at 11:03 AM on June 4, 2008


If I am not a lawyer for myself, who is a lawyer for me? and if I am only a lawyer for myself, what kind of lawyer am I? and if not when I'm on ask metafilter, when?
posted by koeselitz at 11:04 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief, tinker, tailor, Indian and/or merchant chief, etc, but I am not yrmpmbtttIa/omc, etc.
posted by Cranberry at 11:06 AM on June 4, 2008


I Am I Am I Am Superman
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:07 AM on June 4, 2008


and I know what's happening
posted by koeselitz at 11:08 AM on June 4, 2008


There's something happening here, but I don't know what it is.
posted by yhbc at 11:15 AM on June 4, 2008


IAN Ian Astbury from The Cult.
posted by Mister_A at 11:15 AM on June 4, 2008


I don't think I needed the italics.
posted by Mister_A at 11:16 AM on June 4, 2008


I am so confused.
posted by Stunt at 11:18 AM on June 4, 2008


Dear internet, can I sue myself so I can quit my job, sit back, and collect?

TIA!
posted by Mister_A at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2008


Quite frankly, the premise of this question is ridiculous. I will decide when it is appropriate to put a disclaimer on my answer. I'm sorry if you do not like it, but you see, I have a professional license that I paid approximately $160,000 for and a law practice which puts bread on my table. Unlike your job, I can be legally prohibited from doing my job. Forever.

So no, I won't be stopping my disclaimers.

I think that there should be a ban on all Ask questions that ask advice regarding a specific legal question. Hypotheticals are fine, but the rest is just dangerous.

I also am tired of mods who do not practice law who delete my answers which advise people not to listen to what anyone says in the thread and to get their own attorney because I am supposed to "take it to MeTa." That is simply wrong. If I take it to MeTa, the questioner does not see what I say. They take the bum advice.

The worst part is that I cannot specifically counter the bad advice because that would be giving legal advice to the person.

Of course if you read my replies to such questions, they are always the same--contact a local reputable professional in your area to take care of the problem.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:39 AM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am a librarian, which makes me by default Your Librarian. What was your question again?
posted by donnagirl at 11:42 AM on June 4, 2008


Can we assume that it's stated and obvious that nobody is nobody else's professional and quit wasting electrons?

I'm certain you won't mind if I then subpoena your ass and put you on the stand to explain to the judge or the attorney grievance commission that you said it was OK that I not put disclaimers up. You'll have to pay to travel far away and stay in a hotel. If you don't show up, they'll be a bench warrant in your name and the next time you get pulled over, you'll be spending the night in jail and then paying your own attorney at $350 an hour to take care of the issue.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:43 AM on June 4, 2008


Christ, no one's gotten this one yet?

I'm not a picker, I'm not a grinner.
I'm a lover and a sinner but I am not your lover and sinner.
I'm not a joker, I'm not a smoker.
IANYMT.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:44 AM on June 4, 2008


Ironmouth: It's there'll .

Also, you seem like an ass.
posted by Mister_A at 11:46 AM on June 4, 2008


"I am your gynaecologist."

I am your Octogynocoligist. I am not your half-man half-alligator half-shark.
posted by klangklangston at 11:48 AM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


IANAD, but these are the Daves I Know.
posted by Evangeline at 11:50 AM on June 4, 2008


I am not your broom.
posted by owtytrof at 12:07 PM on June 4, 2008


I'm sorry if I seem strident to you Mister_A, but you have to understand how much this question bothers me--I see people getting absolutely wrong advice on the site and there's nothing I can really do about it--even giving advice that the other advice is wrong and explaining why is wrong. This is really, really important to me.

Some times I am an ass. But I consider that part of being a human.

sorry about the misspelling.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:23 PM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: I will decide when it is appropriate to put a disclaimer on my answer. I'm sorry if you do not like it, but you see, I have a professional license that I paid approximately $160,000 for and a law practice which puts bread on my table. Unlike your job, I can be legally prohibited from doing my job. Forever.

A legal expert who claims that only legal experts can be legally prohibited from doing their jobs as a censure for wrongdoing is like a scientist who claims that only scientists can be affected by the law of gravity.

Authority is not in the title. It's in the knowledge, which is not necessarily coincident with the title.
posted by koeselitz at 12:25 PM on June 4, 2008


I am not an Ian.
posted by nthdegx at 12:25 PM on June 4, 2008


Ironmouth: I'm certain you won't mind if I then subpoena your ass and put you on the stand to explain to the judge or the attorney grievance commission that you said it was OK that I not put disclaimers up. You'll have to pay to travel far away and stay in a hotel. If you don't show up, they'll be a bench warrant in your name and the next time you get pulled over, you'll be spending the night in jail and then paying your own attorney at $350 an hour to take care of the issue.

I understand you're upset, but listen to yourself for a moment.

He might have to pay for a hotel and a plane ticket, but you'll be losing your right to practice and wasting that $160,000 you spent. "Well, see, he told me I could just act as everybody's legal counsel without actually being it, so... well, I figured it was okay. Also, robbing that bank? He said I could do that too."

Yeah, that'll work.
posted by koeselitz at 12:34 PM on June 4, 2008


I am not an animal!
posted by Pax at 12:45 PM on June 4, 2008


I am therefore I think.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:47 PM on June 4, 2008


I am not a lawyer, but can people please stop using small text for quotes at the beginning of their comment? Small means harder to read and please to be skipping, top means important must read stuff. The contradiction makes my head hurt.
posted by ghost of a past number at 12:50 PM on June 4, 2008


I am not a Doctor, but I do have a really sharp, pointy knife and some nitrous.

Alternatively:

I am not a lawyer, but I do have a shotgun aimed at you from point-blank range, and you is on mah property.
posted by Eideteker at 12:51 PM on June 4, 2008


While we're at it... Some of you suck your teeth, or chew your nails, or chew with your mouth open, or pop your gum while posting. Please stop! While it's true that I can't hear it, just knowing that it's happening irritates me to no end. Stop it! Stop it now!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:07 PM on June 4, 2008


I am your only friend, but I am not your only friend.

I am not your broom.


I am a grocery bag.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:11 PM on June 4, 2008


Someone needs to come up with a canonical list of MeFi annoyances.

Oh that will go well. But, we have a wiki, go nuts. Go.

I want to mispell it's in my deletion reasons sometimes just to make peoples' heads explode.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:22 PM on June 4, 2008


Having used the phrase a couple times, I always thought it was just saying "I'm not an expert in this, so take heed" because I'm not a lawyer, doctor, or whatever else, but I feel strongly enough to respond with advice. It may protect me legally, but honestly, why the hell would you absolutely trust someone you don't know from a weblog with hundreds of users? Seems kind of fool hearty to me.

With something like the questions about medical problems, legal matters or anything like that, it's really important to state whether or not you have an expertise or any sort relating to what's going on. Someone who *is* a lawyer/doctor/whatever gets a much stronger nod than someone who *isn't* and has a higher chance of being completely dead wrong.

I don't think it's an epidemic because it's not like you see a lot of relationship or travel questions which start with "I AM NOT YOUR GIRLFRIEND" or "I AM NOT YOUR TRAVEL AGENT". Those just get the advice that's being sought, either from personal experience or some other means which the poster explains.

Now get off my lawn? (Can I use that yet? I'm new..)
posted by Gular at 1:22 PM on June 4, 2008


A legal expert who claims that only legal experts can be legally prohibited from doing their jobs as a censure for wrongdoing is like a scientist who claims that only scientists can be affected by the law of gravity.

This is a bad comparison--everyone is affected by the law of gravity. Last I checked, an HR person cannot be banned by law from practicing their profession, nor can a scientist or a temp worker, or even a police officer--a particular department can ban them but they cannot be prohibited from legally doing their job if another department hires them. Doctors and nurses can be banned, I'm pretty sure. Maybe CPAs as well, and an officer of a publically traded corporation can be banned from serving as such by the SEC. But that's why these people are very, very careful, about the advice they give here. Ikkyu2 is a good example. When there is a license involved, you have to be very, very careful.

As for the plane comment, I'm just trying to point out how deadly serious this stuff is to me. Obviously I'm not going to give legal advice on MeFi. I've given a run down on a hypothetical or answered questions about a news story, but I won't give out regular advice other than to see your own lawyer.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:28 PM on June 4, 2008


ND¢, as your priest and trusted spiritual advisor I commend your warm and kindly outreach to the little people here on Metafilter. It embiggens your soul. I also advise you to go to Amsterdam, and take mushrooms.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:39 PM on June 4, 2008


I've taken mushrooms in Amsterdam before strangely enough. On my 21st birthday actually. But that was in another life and now I am a big important lawyer wearing a tie. Stay in school kids!
posted by ND¢ at 1:52 PM on June 4, 2008


Or leave school. That's fine too I guess. What do I care? What is a kid doing getting advice from some random dude on the internet anyway? Get the hell out of here you little bastard! Go on! Beat it!
posted by ND¢ at 1:54 PM on June 4, 2008


In fairness though, isn't that pretty much your advice for everything, Meatbomb?
posted by quin at 1:56 PM on June 4, 2008


Sometimes he advises people to Dump the Motherfucker into a Pile of Mushrooms in Amsterdam.
posted by ND¢ at 1:58 PM on June 4, 2008


I ate mushrooms from a cow pasture less than 3 miles from my childhood house. You should strive to eat the psychedelic plants that are provided in your locality rather than flying off to some sanctioned sin zone. Although, I drove by there not to long ago and now it's an assisted living complex. But man, what huge psilocybe cubensis caps could be picked from that place, especially after a tropical depression came through.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:59 PM on June 4, 2008


The best thing was eating a cap or two freshly plucked from the cow patties. If you ate them on an empty stomach you'd be cycling by the end of the gathering session, and often we discovered that it was easier to locate more caps simply because of the influence of those that we ate. A kind of natural homing system.

Don't harvest wild mushrooms without full knowledge of what you're taking, kids.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:02 PM on June 4, 2008


Oh I don't mean to imply that I have only eaten mushrooms in Amsterdam, just that I have actually eaten mushrooms in Amsterdam, per Reverend Bomb's previous instructions. South Carolina mushrooms were way funkier.

I have a sanctioned sin zone. In my pants.
posted by ND¢ at 2:06 PM on June 4, 2008


I am an amateur proctologist, does that count?

I am an amateur proctologist, too. I am not your amateur proctologist.


Too many proctologists, not enough patients.
posted by CKmtl at 2:11 PM on June 4, 2008


As your life partner, I'm going to have to advise you to stop posting in this thread.
posted by Eideteker at 2:13 PM on June 4, 2008


Huh, huh. You said IANAL.
posted by ignignokt at 2:14 PM on June 4, 2008


I am, I said.

Nobody was around, and so nobody heard. Reasonable enough, right? But get this: Not even the CHAIR heard me.

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
CHAIR?
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:24 PM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Too many proctologists, not enough patients.

Proposed solution: circleproctologirk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:43 PM on June 4, 2008


Proposed solution: circleproctologirk.

Proposed solution: hush. Also, more mushrooms.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:49 PM on June 4, 2008


I am your discl....

never mind.
posted by disclaimer at 2:58 PM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


SpiffyRob: Nobody was around, and so nobody heard. Reasonable enough, right? But get this: Not even the CHAIR heard me.

You can't really blame it. It stopped listening around the time you sat down with Burt Baracharach and penned that godawful "Heartlight" song. Here's a hint: plenty of us can go watch a sappy piece of crap like ET without having to write a goddamned song about it, and if you'd thought about that, well, maybe you and your chair would still be having cheerful fucking conversations in a bar somewhere over a couple of glasses of cracklin' rosé.
posted by koeselitz at 3:17 PM on June 4, 2008


I miss hallucinogens.

Though I really wish there was an option for, like, take this tab and trip balls for four hours, then be done.

Even just six hours.

Because then I think I could go to Disneyland with no reservations.
posted by klangklangston at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2008


I never learned to read :(
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:31 PM on June 4, 2008


I am selling these fine leather jackets.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:32 PM on June 4, 2008


I AM VERY CONFUSED. STOP TOUCHING ME.
posted by loquacious at 4:52 PM on June 4, 2008


Because then I think I could go to Disneyland with no reservations.

I worked at Disneyland in the late 80s. So, there's me, 19 years old, dressed like a cowboy on Big Thunder, sauntering up to a pair of guys.

Me: "How ya'll doing?"
Them: "WE'RE ON ACID! OH DUDE WE'RE ON ACID!"
Me: "Cool. Enjoy the ride."

I walk up to my lead.

Me: Those two guys say they're on acid.
Lead: We'll call security.
Me: Why? They're not hurting anyone.
Lead: What if they get halfway through the ride and decide the fake earthquake is a real earthquake and get out of the train?
Me: OK, I guess. Spoil their fun...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:57 PM on June 4, 2008


I am your neighbor!
posted by salvia at 6:48 PM on June 4, 2008


I am a man of constant sorrow.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:51 PM on June 4, 2008


I'm standing outside the fire.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:54 PM on June 4, 2008


"I never learned to read :("

That's okay, I never learned to write (or type).
posted by Eideteker at 6:57 PM on June 4, 2008


Actually, on a serious note, I appreciate the people who point out that they are not lawyers, doctors, or whatever. I appreciate anyone who provides the background context for their answers. I appreciate people who provide their qualifications, professional (eg) or personal (eg). I also appreciate people who tell how they learned their advice (eg) or who state their advice in the form of stories about their own experiences (eg, eg). I also appreciate knowing the background about why people are making a big deal about something (eg, what was revealed about pieoverdone's situation [at the time] in the five comments starting here). In face-to-face life, we would know some of these things, and the more someone here wants to tell me, the better.
posted by salvia at 7:27 PM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


WeANYC
posted by the Cabal at 7:32 PM on June 4, 2008


WANACBIWWWCWBYC

(We are not a cabal, but if we were, we certainly wouldn't be your cabal. AFAYK.)
posted by Eideteker at 7:39 PM on June 4, 2008


But that's why these people are very, very careful, about the advice they give here.

I don't have much sympathy for a profession whose very weapon - legal entanglements - has turned so ferciously and fully upon itself that it lives in constant fear of its own creation.
posted by yath at 7:59 PM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


...has turned so ferciously and fully upon itself that it lives in constant fear of its own creation.

Dr. Frankenstein, Attorney at Law.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:16 PM on June 4, 2008


I don't have much sympathy for a profession whose very weapon - legal entanglements - has turned so ferciously and fully upon itself that it lives in constant fear of its own creation.

Oh yeah baby...ohh...ooooh...mmm...yeah....yeah, keep it going...ohh...I'm almost...I'm almost...ahhh...
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:34 PM on June 4, 2008


As the original commenter whose comment is the subject of this whole ridiculous thread,

No, I won't stop posting my disclaimers. Sorry, deal. Whenever I post I try to provide basic, relevant patient education (NOT personalized medical advice) to provide people with some accurate information (because at least 50% of the answers I see in 'health' questions are absolutely, totally wrong, and not uncommonly dangerously wrong in some circumstances).

When I say I'm not your doctor, and you are not my patient, I am letting you know that we have no physician-patient relationship, and I have no duty or obligation to provide you with care.

I previously asked Matt to put a disclaimer on the health posts to this effect, but he didn't feel it was necessary.
posted by gramcracker at 9:47 PM on June 4, 2008


In terms of mathowie putting a disclaimer on health posts or legal posts or whatever, I have noted before that I would only support a disclaimer on every page on this site reading:

-DANGER!- This is the INTERNET!

but upon reflection I think it could be simplified and universalized:

-DANGER!- Life.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:02 PM on June 4, 2008


Life. Don't talk to me about life.
posted by JanetLand at 5:47 AM on June 5, 2008


I am not your beautiful wife.
posted by jack_mo at 6:21 AM on June 5, 2008


Same as it ever was.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:51 AM on June 5, 2008


Wow, thanks for checking my qualifications for being able to ask a question. Did I pass the audition?

To clarify- say whatever you want. That's what we're here for. Add your knowledge to the pile and let the reader decide whether it makes sense. I'm not a moderator, it's not my job or desire to tell you what you can and can't say.

All's I'm saying is that it's silly. Anybody who takes professional advice from the internet has a fool for a client, or however that goes. And anyone who believes they have any kind of fiduciary responsibility or duty of care to some clown asking questions on the internet doesn't know how it works. Or is taking themselves way too seriously.
posted by gjc at 8:18 AM on June 5, 2008


Or can read the article I linked to yesterday.
posted by ND¢ at 8:43 AM on June 5, 2008


anyone who believes they have any kind of fiduciary responsibility or duty of care to some clown asking questions on the internet doesn't know how it works. Or is taking themselves way too seriously.

Sorry, I think you may not understand exactly how "it" works.


(this is not legal, medical, plumbing, or HR advice)
posted by Pax at 8:44 AM on June 5, 2008


I think it's pretty clear from a read through this thread that the problem is people taking themselves too seriously.

*adjusts balloon-animal hat, harumphs*
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:45 AM on June 5, 2008


I want to start wearing a monocle. If someone ever accuses me of taking myself too seriously, I'll just point to said monocle. That'll do it.
posted by ob at 9:01 AM on June 5, 2008


And anyone who believes they have any kind of fiduciary responsibility or duty of care to some clown asking questions on the internet doesn't know how it works.

I think what we are saying gjc, is that you don't understand how we work and that we'd appreciate you not telling us how we should be doing things, especially because for us, this goes way beyond etiquette.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:17 AM on June 5, 2008


Or is taking themselves way too seriously

One would hope that Lawyers, physicians, and other professional take their professions, if not themselves, seriously.
posted by TedW at 12:20 PM on June 5, 2008


Send lawyers, guns and money.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:33 PM on June 5, 2008


I'm a desperate man.

I'm not your desperate man.
posted by flabdablet at 4:32 PM on June 5, 2008


Ironmouth. You don't know what my professional qualifications are, or are not. Just as I don't know what yours are. I think this comment, and your first one, pretty much proves my point. Nothing is stopping some nut from suing anyone else for anything, disclaimer or not. All this type of disclaimer does is show everyone else how very important you believe yourself to be. And/or, it exposes your ignorance.

Just for example (using google, because I'm not your lawyer), comes up with this:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/de/narr/DE_NARR_1_01.html Based on that reference, I see that other states have similar rules. You know, simple contract law- you're not my lawyer until I hire you and you agree to be hired. Failing that, you and I are just folks.

Wait, I think I'm missing out on your subtle joke. You got me!
posted by gjc at 7:24 PM on June 5, 2008


gjc, the document you cite directly contradicts your argument -- it states that "[a]n attorney may be liable to a non-client in the absence of an attorney/client relationship for a gratuitous service that the attorney agreed to perform." This is consistent with the article ND¢ cited way back at the start of the thread, which analyzes the risks of providing legal advice to strangers online.
posted by brain_drain at 10:42 AM on June 6, 2008


*adjusts balloon-animal hat, harumphs*

Note: everyone needs a balloon animal hat. They're stylish.
posted by Tehanu at 2:55 PM on June 6, 2008


Hey, you guys that are lawyers, maybe some of you have lawyer-politician friends - why don't you fix the law?

(Here's something - do we have any politicians here on this site? Seems like the open discussion with the populace is something that would drive them away.)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:06 PM on June 6, 2008


...do we have any politicians here on this site? Seems like the open discussion with the populace is something that would drive them away.

Well, it's certainly driven plenty of non-politicians away...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:01 PM on June 6, 2008


brain_drain, you ignored the part above it that says "Although there are exceptions, the general rule is that a lawyer has no liability to non-clients."

Further following your quoted exception, in 1.13:210 it says "A duty can exist between a lawyer and a non-client third person, if the lawyer gratuitously agrees to an action."

Anonymous advice on the internet is neither a service nor an action.

Again, it comes back to- a lawyer owes no duty to a non-client for actions he didn't perform.

I'm not denying that it *can* happen on the internet. Certainly, a lawyer who runs an "ask the lawyer" website and tells people things like "trust me, I'm a lawyer, ignore that summons," has certainly engaged in malpractice. I doubt it would pass a "reasonable person" test, but maybe it could.

But my point is- that's not happening here. Nobody could reasonably believe that an anonymous person is really a lawyer, and/or has entered into a relationship of trust with them by reading their advice.

And further, if a professional actually believes that it is unethical to give a certain piece of advice or knowledge out, adding that sort of disclaimer does nothing to change the ethics of the situation. The "dangerous" knowledge is still out there and the harm could still happen. If I think someone is so moronic as to take professional advice from a website, I would have to reasonably believe that they are also not smart enough to understand my disclaimer.

So it still seems to me that anyone who uses this sort of disclaimer is engaging in self-congratulation, or rank asshattery.
posted by gjc at 11:57 AM on June 7, 2008


So it still seems to me that anyone who uses this sort of disclaimer is engaging in self-congratulation, or rank asshattery.

gjc, we get it. It annoys you. That doesn't mean that anyone who does it is doing it out of some sort of bad faith. Your continued assertions to that effect are not helping your suggestion/request any.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:57 PM on June 7, 2008


Yeah, seriously? I know from asshattery. IANA* disclaimers are so far from asshattery that you would not believe it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:11 PM on June 7, 2008


Whenever I make a disclaimer that I am not a lawyer or doctor I am being a bad-faith asshat. I'm actually a double-Doogie Howser type in both medicine and law, having both degrees at the age of 16. I've cured cancers you've never heard of, because they don't exist anymore, and the fact that you're not all in Guantanamo right now is only due to my arguments in front of the real Supreme Court. Those sextuplets? I delivered them all while simultaneously using that whole shitshow in court as an argument for the importance of abortion rights.

I just don't want to deal with you people getting all fucking groupie on me so I lie.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:50 PM on June 7, 2008


Baby, I'm a Doctor of Devotion and a Lawyer of Love!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:04 PM on June 7, 2008


1. If you are a lawyer, lying and saying "IANAL" will hardly insulate you from liability. What you want to do is say "I am not your lawyer" or, better yet, keep your mouth shut. Concerns about accidentally forming an attorney-client relationship through online chat are very real.

2. If you are not a lawyer, saying "IANAL" is not going to save you from being accused of practicing law without a license. If you aren't collecting money for your advice, you are extremely unlikely to be accused of practicing law without a license. If you are collecting money, admitting that you are not licensed is not going to help you.

3. If you don't know the answer to a legal question, saying "IANAL" is not really accurate. You should be saying "I do not know this answer, and this is my wild-ass guess."

"IANAL" therefore adds nothing to the conversation. I am surprised that it generated a Metatalk with 180+ comments, but I do agree that it is a rather pointless phrase.
posted by A Long and Troublesome Lameness at 6:18 PM on June 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nobody could reasonably believe that an anonymous person is really a lawyer, and/or has entered into a relationship of trust with them by reading their advice.

Yeah, I just think this isn't true. I think people definitely belive and trust advice on the Internet.

What you want to do is say "I am not your lawyer" or, better yet, keep your mouth shut.

Yeah, I think they mostly do, no? I think most lawyers (and docs) are very reticent about giving legal advice, for that reason. In fact, I think someone upthread described his big-law-firm-keep-yer-trap-shut feeling (and I remember some lawyer in another thread saying he will totally give medical advice but not legal advice). I would bet that if someone looked back, most lawyers answering legal questions say something along the lines of "it sounds like x, but please get a lawyer, there's no way we can understand all the facts from this question." Ditto for ikkyu2 and the rest of the docs for medical questions.

If you aren't collecting money for your advice, you are extremely unlikely to be accused of practicing law without a license.


This must be a Hollywood thing, the idea of money changing hands, the "give me a dollar and then I am officially your lawyer" thing. Money changing hands isn't the thing.

But I do agree that the I am not YOUR X (ideally specifying that NO ONE could answer with the limited info) is the best.
posted by Pax at 10:10 PM on June 7, 2008


IANYSS*

*I am not your stepping stone.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:13 AM on June 8, 2008


Money changing hands isn't the thing.

Most state laws forbidding the unauthorized practice of law include compensation as an essential element. For example:

NY Judiciary Law §484. None but attorneys to practice in the state.
No natural person shall ask or receive, directly or indirectly, compensation for appearing for a person other than himself as attorney in any court or before any magistrate, or for preparing deeds, mortgages, assignments, discharges, leases or any other instruments affecting real estate, wills, codicils, or any other instrument affecting the disposition of property after death, or decedents’ estates, or pleadings of any kind in any action brought before any court of record in this state, or make it a business to practice for another as an attorney in any court or before any magistrate unless he has been regularly admitted to practice, as an attorney or counselor, in the courts of record in the state...

posted by A Long and Troublesome Lameness at 3:48 PM on June 8, 2008


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