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In my answer to the recent question about whether positive attitude requirements are discriminatory (Is the requirement to have positive attitude discriminatory?) I included a disclaimer, asked the moderators to make an exception to the no disclaimers rule, and explained why I was asking. My request is that if the mods don't want to make the exception, to please just delete my answer, because I'm not comfortable with it being there without the disclaimer.

There's been moderator activity on the question, but no deletion of my disclaimer by a moderator, which makes me think the mods implicitly granted my request. But, recently a user deleted my disclaimer. Can I please get a statement from a moderator here that my disclaimer just for that answer is OK, so that non-mod users know not to remove the disclaimer on that answer?

Thank you.

8

No

If you are unwilling to play by the rules of the site, don't play.

The site itself has a disclaimer on every page. One on each individual post is not necessary.

10
  • You sure you don't want to check with the other mods on that one Dale?
    – user36183
    Mar 28 at 23:27
  • It's currently a 33 upvote answer that is the product of essentially professional quality legal research.
    – user36183
    Mar 28 at 23:31
  • 4
    @ColinLosey well done but popularity is irrelevant. I’ve had answers on this and other sites with much higher numbers deleted for not meeting site guidelines. The other mods can post their own responses if they like.
    – Dale M Mod
    Mar 29 at 0:46
  • Oh I'm not saying its relevant to the rules. I'm suggesting maaaaaybe you don't want to force me to take down such an upvoted answer. You run a site for legal answers, maaaaybe you want to keep a professional quality one. Your call if you don't, no sweat off my back.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 0:49
  • 4
    @ColinLosey I don’t care either way. As an arbitrator and adjudicator I’m used to lawyers putting professional and well reasoned opinions to me and I’m used to rejecting them because they don’t comply with the rules. Your post does not comply with the rules - either remove the disclaimer or I will remove the answer.
    – Dale M Mod
    Mar 29 at 1:26
  • Just to be clear you just said that you don't care about having high quality answers on your site.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 3:20
  • 1
    @ColinLosey not if they don’t comply with the rules
    – Dale M Mod
    Mar 29 at 10:18
  • Ok, and...are you aware that this site isn't an arbitration forum?
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 13:02
  • enforcing rules for rules sake can obviously be a very important thing in a court of law or equivalent...not so much on a website
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 13:59
  • 1
    @ColinLosey when you’re a mod, you enforce the rules how you see fit. While I’m a mod, I’ll do the same. I expect you to respect that.
    – Dale M Mod
    Mar 29 at 20:44
7

I second Dale's answer.

To give my additional perspective: I chafe at unnecessary and arbitrary rules. And I am generally of the opinion that a good or "very helpful" answer is of paramount value to SE sites. Hence, because it was highly upvoted and had some good content, I disregarded at least one flag on the answer's verbose disclamatory prologue (which I personally think is obnoxious). But now (not surprisingly, by the way) the answer is attracting more meta-contention in terms of flags and edits. And the way to resolve those is to do our best to apply rules, guidelines, and norms.

There is an exception available!

I think it would be great to keep the helpful content of the answer, and there is a way to do that without the disclaimer and without exposing the author to any professional liability: The author can request anonymization of the post.

For future posts: The author can create an account using a pseudonym. (Yes: it is acceptable for individuals to use multiple Stack Exchange accounts, so long as they aren't doing so to evade bans or to perpetuate sock-puppet abuses.)

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  • A pseudonym is a no go because I wouldn't want to worry about whether it could be traced back to me, though you might get other lawyers or law students to consider it. I'll consider anonymization in the future, but in this case since my name is already attached to it, it doesn't help. The disclaimer is one sentence, so I don't think it's verbose. But, your site your rules. Please just take it down if you can't do the exception then.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 3:14
  • At least you gave it some thought, so I respect that.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 3:21
  • One final point I want to add for your consideration is that perhaps the rule against disclaimers creates the flags. A lot of people probably flag posts with disclaimers because it's against the rules. If you changed the rule, or granted an exception here, the flags would probably go away. Just food for thought.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 3:24
  • 2
    @ColinLosey – True, and again: I'm not a big rule advocate. But moderators can't really change a rule like that, and the "no disclaimer rule" in particular derives from the SE-wide customs (now rules) against taglines, signatures, and other boilerplate content. So this matter in particular would be an even bigger PITA even if the active Law.SE community wanted to go the other way on post-specific disclaimers (... or maybe it's because a lot of the active Law.SE users are active on other SEs that it has panned out this way ... there's probably some fascinating sociology in play).
    – feetwet Mod
    Mar 29 at 3:39
  • Alright, that's fair.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 4:03
  • I do think you have more power than you think, and that, like a cop who doesn't write speeding tickets for 5 miles over, you could just say 'hey, we're not gonna enforce flags on attorneys or law students who include disclaimers,' but it's a reasonable difference of opinion. You've got reasoning beyond just 'rules are rules...on a website,' and I respect that.
    – user36183
    Mar 29 at 14:00
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I'm not a moderator, but...

If disclaimers are placed on some posts, but not others, it might convey the impression that posts without such disclaimers are different, perhaps that they may be from lawyers and/or constitute legal advice. This would be bad, for exactly the reasons that you are trying to put one on your post.

Currently, every page on the main (non-meta) site has a disclaimer on it. Similar disclaimers are in wide use on web sites operated by attorneys. If you believe the wording of that disclaimer is inadequate, you should request that that be changed. If you believe that a blanket disclaimer generally is inadequate, you should cite some precedent showing that a blanket disclaimer on a website that only permits public posting (that is, no confidential communications are possible) is inadequate.

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