We want attorneys on Quora to feel comfortable providing answers to questions about legal issues and problems. Quora's policy is that in answering legal questions, attorneys shouldn't give the impression that they are responding to specific legal inquiries from individuals or they might accidentally create an attorney-client relationship with the question-asker or reader.This kind of "accidental relationship" can create a number of potential problems for the attorney, including the unauthorized practice of law, a duty of confidentiality, conflicts of interest with current or prospective clients, and malpractice liability.
- Questions related to legal problems are not allowed to solicit advice about specific facts.
- A question may describe a general situation, illustration, or problem.
- Questions should hold back enough facts so that it is clear that the question is not describing an actual person’s legal problem.
- Attorneys who provide answers on legal topics can provide general guidance, context, and illustration, but they shouldn’t provide specific advice or recommendations.
- Attorneys should not solicit users or advertise on the site. For example, attorneys should not volunteer to represent users, which could violate state bar rules regarding advertising.
- Attorneys also should be careful not to violate attorney-client privilege, disclose client confidences, or accidentally reveal confidential information in indirect ways -- for example, by discussing hypothetical illustrations that could be traced back to specific clients.
Private messaging on Quora
- If a user contacts an attorney via Quora private messaging and provides confidential information, attorneys should follow the ethical rules set by their state bar or country in responding -- just as they would if a person called on the phone and left a voicemail or sent an email.
Adding legal disclaimers to answers
- Attorneys or law students who answer law or law-related questions on Quora should identify themselves as licensed attorneys or law students and add a disclaimer to the end of their legal answers.
- Quora makes it easy for users who are attorneys or law students to include a personalized legal disclaimer when answering a question in the topic (and related topics).
- Attaching a disclaimer ensures that anywhere the answer text is shown, it is accompanied by the disclaimer text beneath it. This disclaimer will appear in a visually distinct region beneath the answer, truncated to show only the first line with an option for the reader to expand to the full text.
- To add a disclaimer, the eligible user should click the "Attach Legal Disclaimer" link found by clicking the "..." icon at the bottom of the answer editor and following the instructions.
- Clicking this link and following the instructions will set that user's disclaimer and attach it to their answer.
- This legal disclaimer will be the disclaimer that shows up on your answers in questions in Law. Once initially set, a user's personalized disclaimer may be edited from the Settings page. Note that editing this text will update the text on all previous disclaimers.
- Once an eligible user initially creates a personalized disclaimer, she can attach this disclaimer to any existing answer (i.e., even on questions that are not tagged with Law-related topics) by editing that answer and clicking the "Attach Disclaimer" link. Disclaimers may be removed from an answer by editing that answer and clicking the "X" next to the disclaimer text.
- We've worked hard and done research to craft this disclaimer language to protect our users. However, ethics rules differ by state and country, so we aren't sure that this language will work for every attorney in every location -- especially since rules can change over time. Users should edit or add to disclaimer language as necessary to comply with their own state’s rules.
- We hope that attorneys on the site will share what they learn about state-specific disclaimer language.