Re: Darn Lawyers

Subject: Re: Darn Lawyers
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 14:13:20 EST

Matthew Epstein said he works closely with attorneys, and asked if anyone
else on the list does.

At my last job, the lawyers were involved in the review of certain hardware
maintenance manuals, for reasons I've noted in other messages. The attorneys
would look over the manuscript with an eye towards "How can we get sued for
this" and impose changes. Normally, these changes consisted of long-winded
multiple warnings inserted in the procedural flow. The lawyers made no
effort to compromise or minimize the impact on the usability. They told us
what to do, and we had to do it.

All the tech writers, trainers, and product support folks also went to a
two-day seminar held by the attorneys, off-site. They spent all day telling
us about the hazards of litigation, and how we had to tighten up our warnings
in the manuals. Usability was not considered in that discussion.

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Wakefield, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com

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