All names have been changed to protect the guilty!
I love writing my blogs. I love the fact that people often comment on them when I see them out. I love the fact that people often recognise themselves in what I write. My kids get mentioned often, and they enjoy reading about themselves. My friends and family often recognise themselves. Occasionally clients and contacts know that they have been my inspiration, and they enjoy not only being mentioned, but the idea that their situation may help others.
Occasionally, someone upsets me, and it’s tempting to write something negative about them. In my head, I’ve written a few cutting comments that only the person in question would know was aimed at them. I’ve never published them (yet) because the reality is that the person in question is unlikely to read them, but simply writing it all down can be cathartic.
Despite the fact that I’ve never written anything negative about someone I actually know, it would probably still be a good idea if I put a disclaimer on what I write. Something like the comment you see at the beginning of certain US police typed dramas – none of the characters in this blog are real people. The real ones weren't interesting enough for me to write about.
Disclaimers can be a very useful tool in a business’s armoury. Whist it doesn't guarantee protection, it can significantly reduce the risk of trouble because they are aimed at limiting your potential liability, but will only work if they are properly worded and clearly on display. Everyone should have disclaimers on their e-mails, websites and printed literature, and a well drafted contract would include clauses that say that the people are entering into it based on the information contained in it, and not any verbal representations. People buying properties should always be warned not to take the estate agents details as gospel and check the facts themselves. The wording doesn't need to be complicated. In fact KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the best way to be.
If you think your business could benefit from disclaimers, or if you've fallen foul of the wording of a disclaimer and need some advice, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can meet for a drink and a chat. All advice given whilst I am under the influence of wine or Guinness cannot be relied upon.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. There is no limited on our knowledge.