Disclaimer | Why the Content is not authoritative

Disclaimer (read about what a disclaimer is.)

For the reasons under the next heading, among others, the video, audio, written, or other content posted, linked to, produced in association with, promoted on, otherwise associated with or marketed by this website; that linked you to this webpage, or which is otherwise associated to the way in which you reached this page [eg. an email which referred you to this disclaimer]; or both (below called “Content”) is provided:

  • without warranty or guarantee of any kind;
  • on an “as-is,” use-at-your-own-risk basis;
  • for entertainment purposes only; and
  • on the basis that you will release, hold harmless, and indemnify: this website’s owners, agents, affiliates, writers, authors, speakers, interviewers, interviewees; any owner, agent, affiliate, writer, author, speaker, interviewer, interviewee, or other person associated with content from outside this website in conjunction with you were referred to this page; or any other person affiliated with any Content (from here on called “Contributors”) with respect to any liability, any costs, or any other damage that may arise to any Contributors from your use of, or reliance on, any Content.

The views and opinions expressed in any Content are, unless otherwise noted, the view of the person stating those views, and are not necessarily those of any other Contributor.

 Why the Content is not authoritative

  • What lawyers do is manage risk, not “tell” anyone what the law “is” or what the results “will be” – they can’t. People often think of the law a set of immutable rules. This is wrong. In fact, there is no set of “rules” and as a result there are no legal “facts” or “absolutes” (that’s a paradox, by the way, so you should even moreso be inherently skeptical of all Content). What there are, are “interpretations” of the law, and “arguments” as to the way the law should be applied. You only really know what the law “is” in a given situation, after an arbiter / judge / tribunal has made a decision (some might argue the law only “comes into being” at that point), and by then the existence of any rules uncovered or coalesced during the process of interpreting the law is moot. Lawyers, and none of the Contributors to this site, are able to tell the future, and cannot therefore tell you what the law “is.”
  • No Content should be taken as applicable to your current situation(s) or relied on to make any decisions, whether important or trivial. This is for a few reasons:
    • What the Content, including the Content on this website, sometimes aims to do, when it discusses the law, is provide a good starting point for your own research and understanding. The law is nuanced and complex. It evolves to fit factual scenarios, and fill nooks and crannies, previously left vacant. If you need to know the law applicable to a given situation, it is a virtual certainty that the Content and the Contributors have not covered all of the information that is necessary for you to make an informed decision.  This point is especially important because, when you’re researching the law it often appears that you’re heading towards a particular answer, only to find that a nuance has caused the answer you thought you were heading towards to reverse upon itself, and you end up at the opposite conclusion. You need to make sure you are being thorough and doing your due-diligence. Don’t rely on general rules for any specific situation.
    • The material on this website contains a mix of opinion and information. The law evolves, and often before it takes an evolutionary step, people have opinions on the way it should go. In actuality, people, even intelligent “learned” people, often disagree with the current law. You should expect not only that the Content on this site and elsewhere contains a mix of opinion and information, but also given that you are expected to do your own research and due-diligence, it may be impossible to tell what is opinion and what is fact or information.
    • The Contributors to this website are not expecting you to rely on their Content and so it is not issued with the same degree of fastidious,  completeness, or accuracy as it might be if you were a client in a law practice. What’s more, it’s offered for a different audience – not only people that are engaged in disputes, but for others who are merely curious. For these reasons, the reasons above, regular humanity, and others, Contributors are sometimes wrong about the law, make misstatements in the Content, or make correct statements that are not accurate to a given current situation even though they appear to be – you therefore must get legal advice, which will be more tailored to your situation, and include an assessment of likely outcomes based on the information you provide to the lawyer. If you cannot afford legal advice and are a self-represented litigant, or are self-representing with a limited-scope / unbundled retainer, the hope is that the Content serves as a useful starting point for you. However, it is only a starting point. You must continue your research until you have exhausted your supply of novel information, and have exhausted available information sources (hint: most lawyers start with “secondary sources” [books on what the law is – written for lawyers and maybe available to you from your local law library], and use that information to guide their case- and fact-specific research on a tool like CanLII). Not-for-profit organizations in your area will also likely be able to help (in British Columbia, the Provincial, Supreme and Appeal Courts themselves; and the Legal Services Society, Courthouse Library, and Justice Education Society are particularly useful). There are others, but these resources may help you locate the others.
  • The Content is not tailored to you or your situation. It’s impossible for information contained on a website to equal years of legal training and practice. Contributors may be or may have been lawyers. In the Content, Contributors usually, but not always, speak on an area of expertise. Regardless of expertise, training, or how skilled a Contributor may be, however, they are not in a conversation with you. As such, there is no “feedback loop.” Without a feedback loop, the Contributors cannot make sure the Content is tailored to you or any given situation, and they are in no way able to give you close to the same degree of correct information or advice as they might in a law practice.
  • The Content (and it’s headlines) might be (intentionally / knowingly) misleading (for marketing). In order to have people visit a blog, website, or generally to grab attention, the Content needs to have catchy headlines and pictures. Zeal to share the Content might, occasionally, lead a Contributor to say things in a way that makes what is said more forceful than accurately reflects reality. So, for example, a post titled “You may not have to pay regular child support while your adult child lives in residence” will likely go on to discuss the law, and probably some nuances, around when and why someone may, or may not, have to pay child support when their adult child is living away at University. Without attention, the Content is not read / listened to / watched / understood, and therefore not useful. This same argument applies to any medium of communication. The Contributors, however, hope the Content is useful to some purpose or degree, and catchy headlines grab the necessary attention. Put another way, unfortunately the best way for the Content to reach an audience is to be, probably, occasionally a bit hyperbolic and even misleading in certain contexts. That’s just the nature of writing, and especially search-engine optimization.