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In order that answerers can help comfortably, free from liability, and need not write a disclaimer anew every time, would it help to apply and ratify such a disclaimer in https://ell.stackexchange.com/a/39814/8712 universally to all questions on ELL?

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    I am truly surprised that it seems anybody would have taken my "disclaimer" seriously. – oerkelens Nov 19 '14 at 9:30
  • I'm not sure it was taken seriously as much as it sparked an idea for someone interested in law. – ColleenV Nov 20 '14 at 1:48
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(I removed the disclaimer from that post, which is recreated below):

Disclaimer: no part of this answer, my interpretation or my wording can be used as legally binding ground or argument in any past, current or future legal or paralegal action, whether said action includes promises or not. This disclaimer holds in all known and unknown universes, including but not limited to parallel, skewed and imaginary ones.


This particular disclaimer was added somewhat jokingly, but since you raise a serious question, I'll give a serious answer:

In short: No. Everything you post here is posted under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licence, which states:

5. Representations, Warranties and Disclaimer

UNLESS OTHERWISE MUTUALLY AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES IN WRITING, LICENSOR OFFERS THE WORK AS-IS AND MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING THE WORK, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTIBILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NONINFRINGEMENT, OR THE ABSENCE OF LATENT OR OTHER DEFECTS, ACCURACY, OR THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE OF ERRORS, WHETHER OR NOT DISCOVERABLE. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO SUCH EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

6. Limitation on Liability.

EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL LICENSOR BE LIABLE TO YOU ON ANY LEGAL THEORY FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THIS LICENSE OR THE USE OF THE WORK, EVEN IF LICENSOR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

You also waived your rights to assert other liability and warrantability claims on text you post to Stack-Exchange under Section 3 of the Stack Exchange Terms and Conditions:

You agree that all Subscriber Content that You contribute to the Network is perpetually and irrevocably licensed to Stack Exchange under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license (...)

That means that not only is any user-added disclaimer unnecessary, it's also non-binding (i.e. pointless) - you waived your rights to assert other claims of liability and warrantability when you post here.

So if you see a pseduo-legal disclaimer on a post, please remove it, citing this meta.

  • Duly noted and I will refrain from attempts at poking the slightest bit of fun at questions that deal more with law than with English. – oerkelens Nov 19 '14 at 9:30
  • (a) Hmm, are you a lawyer? Because that disclaimer does not sound to me like at all the same thing as the "I am not a lawyer" disclaimer people frequently write. In many states it is against the law to give legal advice if you are not a lawyer. The purpose of a statement that what you are giving should not be construed as legal advice is not to protect yourself from being charged with a tort of failing to fulfill a warranty, but to protect yourself from being charged with the crime of practicing law without a license. – Jay Nov 19 '14 at 14:26
  • (b) Presumably some number of people who post on here ARE lawyers or have some in-depth legal knowledge. An explanation that you are not a lawyer could and often is intended to warn the reader that you are speaking outside your area of expertise and that what you say should be taken with a grain of salt. Just like I often give disclaimers like "I haven't read that book" or "I have never been to Australia". – Jay Nov 19 '14 at 14:29
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    There might be an argument for a formal "I'm not a lawyer" disclaimer if this were a Law SE. I imagine it would be similar to the The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice... disclaimer most financial websites use. I think that because this is an English learning site, there should not be an expectation that we're giving sound legal advice. It never hurts to say "I'm not a lawyer" or "I'm not a doctor" or "Damn it Jim, I'm a doctor not a lawyer!" though :) – ColleenV Nov 19 '14 at 19:10

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