Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?

Subject: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Donald H. White" <dwhite -at- jrtcllc -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 09:56:47 -0400

Donald H. White noted: <<It doesn't surprise me that the attorney for
STC advised the Society leaders to be completely silent on the
matter, up to and including refusal to provide names of Society
members as potential interviewees.>>

I can understand it too from a purely pragmatic perspective. It's
likely to be a messy lawsuit, and STC can't afford getting dragged
into a long court battle. Lawyers aren't cheap, and it's foolish to
visit a modern courtroom without a lawyer to hold your hand.

<<Still, overall, it's gutless. It's gutless to not make a decision,
instead holding to the reason that someone else advised them not to
say anything. The Society is not a party to the suit and shouldn't
become one, I guess.>>

Reluctantly, I must agree. This is exactly the kind of situation
where STC should be shouting from the rooftops: "This is who we are,
this is why we're important, and this is what happens when that
importance is trivialized or outright ignored." Whether or not STC is
or should be party to the suit, they should certainly step forward to
provide expert witnesses and, not incidentally, gather in all
possible publicity that can be gathered.

STC should always try to play a role in establishing legal precedents
that protect technical communicators and establish our importance and
legal rights. This is what professional associations do all the time,
and it's a shame we aren't doing it.

Again, I recognize that STC is going through difficult times, both
financially and in terms of reorganizations and staffing. But
important opportunities should not be missed.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position: From: Donald H. White

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