LFCS 2012: Trademarks for free software projects: giving legal advice
Posted Apr 17, 2012 20:41 UTC (Tue) by giraffedata
In reply to: LFCS 2012: Trademarks for free software projects
Parent article: LFCS 2012: Trademarks for free software projects
"Legal advice" is a term of art, at least in my experience, at least in the US, for what you're distinguishing as "professional legal advice".
That's kind of my point. Sandler and many others say "I'm not giving you legal advice," using the term in a rather different sense than plain English, which leads to confusion. I know many people who, based on other people throwing around that term of art, believe they can't legally, or safely, give legal advice. Furthermore, the fact that, using plain English, Sandler's statement is clearly a lie makes one wonder what else she says should be taken with a grain of salt.
Actually, when careful lawyers talk about the special ramifications of giving professional legal advice, I usually hear them use the term "practicing law," instead of "giving legal advice," because that's the term the statutes actually use for the thing that requires a license and is subject to malpractice liability. Giving professional legal advice is one way to practice law.
I say people should avoid that term of art. (I also say the statement is usually superfluous; the chance that someone could justifiably think he was getting professional legal advice from a public speech is too small to worry about).
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