Do not ask Reddit for legal advice: 3 tips on evaluating online legal advice
It is possible for the internet to provide the answer to your specific legal question. However, it is also possible for someone to try to kill you and your unborn baby if you respond to an online classified ad for baby clothes. Online legal advice is a dangerous thing in today’s digital wild west. Even from blogs, owners must be cautious about relying on it.
Here are 3 tips that you can use to find legal advice or answers online.
Businesses Are Unique and Require Unique Advice
A cookie cutter business selling cookie cutters is unique in that each business owner brings their knowledge, skills, background, experience and baggage. It’s like asking for general legal advice online and not telling the mechanic your car model. While you might be able complete the task, you could end up ruining your engine if you don’t follow the steps that are specific to your vehicle.
You can’t give the background information that a lawyer requires to give proper guidance in a sentence, unfortunately, and this is not the case with the car. A paragraph-long description will not be sufficient information. There may be federal, state, or local laws that apply. However, the online legal advice could be from someone in a totally different state.
A retainer agreement with an attorney that you can call for legal advice is the best way to make sure that your business receives the right information tailored to your needs. This is especially important considering the major changes expected this year.
You get what you pay for
Even if you don’t have to pay for the legal advice, don’t be surprised if you are in legal trouble because you relied on it.
There are many scammers on the internet that will try to deceive people. A lawyer retained by your company will be held responsible for answering your questions in the best interests of your business. They will also likely be covered so that you can recover for malpractice if they are wrong or you lose money.
It’s possible to have a little bit of knowledge that can be dangerous.
If you don’t fully understand the law, you could be held responsible for trying to apply what you have learned online. Although information found online may appear to be safe, it is risky because the law is complex and detailed. Even the most straightforward laws can have strange applications or be invalidated due to conflicting law or court decisions.
Although it may seem simple to deny a request for reasonable accommodation by an employer based on hardship, it is not. You could also face a costly discrimination lawsuit if you are wrong.
You should exercise caution when using the internet to obtain legal advice. Business owners should ensure that any online legal advice is reviewed by a real lawyer before taking action.