To one of my questions I received a comment:

Get a real lawyer to tell you if you have a case. You are asking for specific legal advice in your questions and we can't give it to you. At just $800, the price was cheap for the experience gained. If you (your friend) can't or won't read what you sign, pay a lawyer to.

The discussion went on, but I suppose that this person did not like the way I provided context around my question, because, I guess, it appeared to him that I am asking a question in form "Should I do X or Y?" (opposed to a specific general question that I highlighted in the bold and intended to get answer to).

However, to my surprise on a completely different question this same person actually asked for a context around particular or hypothetical situation:

Not an answer, but why not just tell them? Do they hang up or something?

My personal opinion is that

  1. if question arises from a real or hypothetical situation, then preferably this context should be provided in the question, because it can help to answer it by implied context (e.g. country, case-type or simply suggest that different laws should apply).
  2. However, I do agree that the questions should not be asked in form "should I do X or Y?", but rather in a general manner, but I don't think that this was the case with my question.

Am I doing something wrong and should have asked the question differently and removed the context around particular situation?

1 Answer 1


This site has a disclaimer, visible on pretty much every page of the main site:

Law Stack Exchange is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized advice from a qualified legal practitioner. Communications on Law Stack Exchange are not privileged communications and do not create an attorney-client relationship.

To your specific question:

  1. I don't believe it was asking for legal advice. However, you have asked a large number of questions around a particular topic, which this community, I believe, finds a little grating.

  2. Essentially, having a situation and asking multiple questions based on it looks like legal advice, even though each question on its own may not.

  3. Additionally, we likely have a number of users - legal practitioners, students and enthusiasts - who are happy to educate people on points of law, but probably don't want to work for free. By asking multiple questions, that's basically what you're trying to do.

  4. It's not about providing context or not - it's about the pattern of questions that you've asked, which this user has likely seen and cottoned onto. Personally, I would not close a question simply because it appears to be on the same matter.

  5. You've added something rather rant-y towards the end which may or may not influence the decision, but basically... it doesn't really add anything to the question, does it? Dishonesty is not, in itself, punishable by law. It seems like you're just frustrated with a salesman's tactics, and while understandable, it clouds your question and makes it seem more legal advice-y than it really is.

It's probably best if users avoid providing more detail - and especially subjective, emotive detail - than necessary. Of course this can be difficult to gauge and that's what comments are for. Users will, as you have noted, ask for more context or information where what is provided is insufficient.

For what it's worth, this question has been reviewed by two users who have selected the Leave Open when reviewing this question.

It may be worth reviewing our Policy for questions that clearly ask for specific legal advice.

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