RE: The cost of inaccurate technical documentation

Subject: RE: The cost of inaccurate technical documentation
From: "technical writing plus" <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 13:45:32 -0600

Right. But I agree with John - I think that, although a legal document may
have technical details and some of these technical details may be wrong, the
lawyer who signs off on a legal document is saying something that is quite
different from what a tech pubs manager is saying (when the tech pubs
manager signs off on something).

The lawyer, in part, is supposed to be representing the truth of all the
little facts to the court - and if the court later finds out that , in fact
,this was not the case (that the lawyer did NOT have all the little stuff
right) then the court is gonna (it's supposed to anyway) come back and say
'somebody's gonna pay for this'.

This story about the telecommunications guy who benefited from the errors is
an example of this process working itself out.

So if everybody understands what happened and why the guy got off and
everything, then why can the court not just go in there and say 'Well, we
see what happened here, and this is what we're gonna do now to fix things'?

The reason why, in my opinion, is that the court believes that those people
should have gotten it right the first time.

Jim Jones http://tinyurl.com/4arjc

-----Original Message-----
The crucial missing information was the numerical citation of a statute.
Sounds pretty technical to me. And if the document had been written as
required, it would not have "allowed for interpretation."

Depending on its content, legal documentation can be a subset of
technical documentation -- just like chemical documentation, medical
documentation, traffic control documentation...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Posada
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:08 PM
> To: Dan Goldstein; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: The cost of inaccurate technical documentation
>
> > So that's just two errors, at an estimated cost of $50 to $87.5
> > million per error.
>
> That's not technical documentation...it's legal documentation.
> Lawyers don't employ technical writers to write that type of
> documentation...they use paralegals and law clerks.
>
> It's not the same thing. In fact, I'd say they couldn't be farther
> apart. Tech documents take difficult concepts and describe them
> simply. Legal documents intentionally allow for interpretation.
>

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References:
RE: The cost of inaccurate technical documentation: From: Dan Goldstein

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