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Legal Disclaimer Related Questions

A disclaimer is intended to protect the writer from any risk of legal action by the signee of an agreement. In the situation of a contract, a disclaimer usually involves pre determined conditions as part of the contractual agreement. Other disclaimers are generally used to avoid exposure to any potential damages in the event that someone has been harmed or injured. Below are a few questions about disclaimers that have been answered by Experts.

I am currently creating a comprehensive dating advice site and will be offering the following services. I was wondering what sort of legal problems I can run into and what I can do to protect my company

Case Particulars:
1. Dating Advice via telephone/e-mail. We are not licensed coaches or clinicians. Is it okay for someone with no license to offer advice online?

2. Body Language Seminar - A video body language seminar that users can view to help them break down their date's body language.

You can always add the disclaimer to your terms of service, but it a better practice to add the disclaimer at the bottom of every page on the website. Your terms of service should be more specific in the writing, stating that you are not licensed and you are not trying to convey professional advice of any type. Another good idea is to place "for entertainment purposes only". Also, you can have the reader agree to speak with a licensed professional before attempting to use the information provided. This can be accomplished by having the user acknowledge that he agrees by using a check box after reading the terms of service. One safeguard is not allowing a person access to the website until they have agreed to the terms of service.

There are a couple of other things that you should do. Consider incorporating or form an LLC (limited liability Company). If you have an LLC, you need to keep all personal income, bank accounts and assets completely separate from the company, and never mix the two. Insurance is a must have for any company. Having insurance will offer a buffer against law suits and will allow you to continue to operate in the event of a lawsuit.

I am interested in purchasing weight loss supplements from a vendor in China and re-selling them online in the USA. I am wondering if I would incur any liability if the supplements turned out to be unsafe or the customer misused them and injured themselves. Also, is there a specific legal disclaimer that I should include on my website that would eliminate any liability?

If not properly protected, it is very possible for you to be liable. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your business. You need to have an active corporate form and make sure the form is correct. If you haven't formed an LLC, you should. Most herbal remedy companies have a disclaimer on their product. You should have something similar to these disclaimers. The disclaimer will read something like; "this product has not been approved by the FDA" or "this product has not been tested and the effects have not been proven". One of the most important things you should do is to get insurance to cover your company. Usually, a person can get $1 million policy for a reasonable price. Usually a few hundred dollars will cover the cost.

Do I need a disclaimer for a true story?

Usually, there shouldn't be an issue as long as you are truthful and the facts of the story are true. This is especially important if the people mentioned in the story are still living. As long as you have the correct facts, there shouldn't be a risk of anyone suing you for slander, libel, or defamation of character. However, if you have incorrect facts and the people in the story are still alive, the disclaimer will not protect you from being sued. This is true even if you believed the facts to be correct and you were not intending to be malicious in any way. There is no guarantee that the person who sues you would actually win the lawsuit, but you would still have to go to court to prove you meant no ill will, which will cost you money.

I have a music website. If I make everyone that submits a song sign a disclaimer saying that they own all copyrights, and ownership of the song, and any claims against the song for infringement or otherwise is the responsibility of the submitter of the song, will that protect me from any lawsuits?

Your website posts content that other people generate, comparable to you tube. The only way you could be liable for infringement would be if you knew the content was infringed and you continued to display it on your website. However, just because you have the disclaimer on your website won't keep you from being named in a lawsuit. The disclaimer will give you enough leverage to be dismissed from a law suit rather quickly.

If you have questions or doubts about signing a disclaimer, you should seek the experienced insight from an expert who is familiar with Business Law.
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