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Disclaimer/terms Of Use


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6 replies to this topic

#1 etr101

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 06:27 AM

Hi,
I'm building up a website and the major obstacle I now face is coming up with the disclaimer/member agreement/terms of use. What is the best (and cheapest) way to write one of those up? Do you know of any law firms who specialize in those sorts of contracts? Can I just copy the disclaimer from another site and just change the names? If i am doing it myself, what parts should i include? My website is about online counseling, so i need to protect both myself and the counselors, have payment policy, privacy policy, age-verification policy, etc
Thank you.

#2 Randy

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:10 AM

For something like counseling I'd personally want to have something drafted by a lawyer that I hired to do exactly that. There are enough legal hurdles in some areas that it's just wiser to have someone who knows the nuances of the legal requirements involved in the process.

A good lawyer will make sure your t's or crossed and your i's are dotted. Though this is not legal advice (I'm not a lawyer, that's why I'm telling you to hire one!) the two biggies I'd personally want to make sure get covered is how to put in protections for myself and the site from unscrupulous people claiming to be counselors fraudulently and how to deal with the HIPPA requirements.

Oh, and the question probably fits better in Business Issues section of the forum, since it's more legal requirements and not really content. So I'm going to move the thread there.

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 12:17 PM

If you anticipate enforcing your terms of service in any disputes with customers, you absolutely want to seek counsel from an experienced, knowledgable attorney. Courts have ruled both FOR and AGAINST online terms of service enforcement. You can browse this search result to find some articles that discuss the various issues.

But don't get legal advice from the Internet. Get it from a qualified professional in an appropriate setting. Just get a feel for some of the issues you'll run up against when enforcing online terms of service agreements.

#4 Randy

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 02:58 PM

100% agreed Michael.

The the additional caveat that if what you're calling counseling is anything close to a professional counseling situation there are a whole new set of concerns you'll need to deal with. These being on top of and in addition to all of the normal stuff. Hence my mention of HIPAA, though even that just begins to scratch the surface when it comes to patient and health care provider responsibilities.

This is definitely one of those situations where you'll want to consult with a good retainer and probably have one on retainer.

#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:19 PM

QUOTE
Do you know of any law firms who specialize in those sorts of contracts?


Sorry -- I missed this part of your original post.

I think you'll want to find a firm that has an Internet Law practice. They usually indicate on their Web sites what their areas of practice are so you should be able to localize your search to find a firm in your city that has an Internet Law practice.

Example:

New York City attorney internet law


#6 etr101

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 02:05 AM

Thanks for the replies. I am going to contact a law firm but I want to appear knowledgeable when I do that smile.gif So, I have come up with a few categories (below) that I think should be included in the Terms of Use. Should I add/edit/delete any?
1. Acceptance of our Terms
2. Eligibility (Age restrictions)
3. Limitation of Liability
4. Jurisdiction
5. Copyright
6. Warranty
7. Advisor Rules Policy
8. Member Rules Policy
9. Payment Policy
10. Feedback Policy
11. Privacy Policy
12. Changes to the Terms


#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 04:56 PM

I really can't give you an opinion on what to include.




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