There were a couple questions this week that sparked this post...

A quick search reveals others...

Or pretty much anything tagged

I can even remember an answer I gave myself.

It's not that there can't be useful answers to such questions. Far from it, in fact. I just wonder whether or not there should be a boiler-plate "mod post notice" or flag reason, or some such thing.

Perhaps a tag that had a wiki full of disclaimers?



Doing a bit of research on meta.so...

Wanted: A standard way for a site to have a prominent professional advice disclaimer

Any legal exposure from answering questions?



Looks like what it boils down to is: If you're a lawyer, you need a disclaimer stating that your advice does not constitute an attorney/client relationship etc... If you're not a lawyer, you don't need a disclaimer.

Seems counter-intuitive at first, but makes sense I guess.

1 Answer 1


I like the idea of a tag that has the disclaimer, but I don't think it would be enough by itself to have me stop starting out with IANAL. It's a basic cover your ass move that is generally considered best practice when giving what could be construed as legal advice.

It might be worth having something to put in comments on the question directly though that highlights that legal issues vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and that information provided on the forums is simply the best understanding that people have of general practices, which may or may not differ from what is legal in the OP's situation. Maybe something like:

"Legal issues can vary greatly from one location to another. While answers may give insight in to personal experience and understanding of common types of law, a local lawyer should be consulted to clarify what is or is not legal in your local jurisdiction. Most posters are not lawyers and their answers should not be construed as legal advice unless they specifically claim to be a lawyer with knowledge of your jurisdiction."

  • 1
    It's funny, you probably need to start your legal disclaimer with IANAL!
    – JoshP
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 13:24
  • I agree that the tag would likely not be sufficient. It almost seems like the act of tagging something [legal] should trigger a post-notice with the actual legal disclaimer.
    – JoshP
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 13:26
  • @JoshP - yes, that is ironic, and if we have a way to have an auto-comment when a tag is used, then yes, that would be ideal.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 14:30

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