Re: Legal framework for consultancy work

Subject: Re: Legal framework for consultancy work
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: The Documentation Doctor <documentationdoctor -at- googlemail -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 11:04:26 -0600

> OK. So if I list my services as including "provide customised versions of my
> standard templates" would that cover it?

That should actually not be necessary. The document itself (unless
it's provided in .pdf only, for instance) will have the styles

> re liability:
> I agree getting things wrong will tend to wreck my techwriting career.
> However, I was more concerned with being sued, e.g. because somebody had an
> accident followed "my" instructions. Is there an obvious way around that, or
> do I need insurance?

Probably not. In the end, it is the client who must face the primary
liability issues--although there are always exceptions. For example,
if you hold yourself out as an SME on a particular issue, the client
may assert that they relied upon your expertise. In most cases, as a
practical matter your participation in the writing will be unknown to
any user, and I know of no lawyers who would make a serious attempt to
determine the individuals who had a hand in producing typical
documentation--they are must more focused on those who have the "deep
pockets" from which to attempt to extract a recovery.

Unless you are a principal (such as an officer or decision-maker) you
should usually be fine.

That said, an umbrella liability policy may be advisable, depending
upon the kind of subject matter and the extent of potential liability.
If you're doing instructions for the handling and disposal of
hazardous materials, for instance, I would be much more cautious than
if you are documenting yet another example of word processing


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Legal framework for consultancy work: From: The Documentation Doctor
Re: Legal framework for consultancy work: From: The Documentation Doctor

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