Understanding the phrase “not legal advice disclaimer”

Lawyers often use the phrase “not legal advice disclaimer” to escape possible legal liability that may arise when people rely on that information.

In this article, I explore the meaning of the phrase “not legal advice disclaimer” and instances where it applies.

What is “not legal advice disclaimer”?

Depending on the context of use, the phrase “not legal advice disclaimer” could have several meanings.

More often than not, lawyers use this phrase before they dish out any legal advice or piece of information or when they want to share their overall impressions, opinions, or new ideas about a specific area of law.

A lawyer must state this phrase to his audience more so when they are giving a presentation, speaking on a panel, writing a blog post, publishing via social media, or sharing their thoughts informally.

Lawyers must use a “not legal advise disclaimer” so that people who rely on the information know that the person who gave out the information is not legally or professionally responsible for what was said and how it was interpreted.

What could “Not legal advice disclaimer” mean?

The following four explanations can explain the meaning of this phrase:

An infographic of what could not legal advice disclaimer mean
An infographic of what “not legal advice disclaimer” means

1. This information given by the blog/person/lawyer is not legal advice.

When used in a website, the phrase means that the contents of the website are meant to give general information only.

The advice given is not legal advice or a legal opinion.

Hence one should not construe this information as true since it may not reflect the most current legal development.

In addition, one should not rely on this information.

In any case, the author of the website distances themself from any liability in respect to actions that are taken relying on the advice given and to the fullest extent that is allowed by the law.

Hence, whenever you see the phrase “Not legal advise disclaimer”, it is best to contact an attorney for advice on the specific legal problem that you are facing

2. In the context where a lawyer gives the information, the lawyer could mean “I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer.”

This means that the information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Therefore, if one intends to create such a relationship they should contact the attorney and confirm the relationship by executing an engagement agreement.

3. This information given is for informational purposes only and is not proper legal advice.

This phrase also implies that there is no guarantee of favorable results or similar results.

The outcome of a legal matter depends on many factors. An outcome can never be the same, despite similar circumstances.

4. The information given is not by a professional or a law firm.

The information given by the lawyer or the author is possibly from someone who is not authorized to practice law or give legal advice.

For example, in most states, Paralegals cannot give legal opinions without the presence of an attorney.

What are the implications of using this phrase?

Bad advice or legal advice that falls short of professional standards can get a lawyer in trouble with their respective bar association.

If found liable by the respective bar association, a lawyer can get a punitive punishment.

This punishment could be in the form of:

  • Disbarment
  • Loss of license to practice
  • In serious cases, a client might sue an attorney for legal malpractice.

Therefore, lawyers or sometimes legal professionals use “not legal advice disclaimer” to inform people that they are not professionally liable for what they are about to say.

Hence, whenever you see the phrase, know that the legal thoughts shared by the author of the statements often come at little or no cost to you.

Additionally, when lawyers talk informally about the law and they often generalize, they will tend to use the phrase “not legal advice disclaimer.”

Conclusion

Whenever you see the phrase “not legal advice disclaimer” you should know that the information relayed is not verifiable.

If one needs an accurate legal opinion, or in the case one has an apparent legal problem, it is always advisable for one to hire the services of a lawyer.