Sympathy for the Lawyer

Department of complaints.
March 1 1998 3:30 AM

Sympathy for the Lawyer

An e-mail exchange about subscribing to Slate.

(Continued from Page 2)

From: Mark LundgrenSent: Tuesday, February 24, 1998 1:33 PM To: Steve Tapia

Advertisement

Dear Mr. Tapia:

Sorry about adding to your burden with another e-mail.

A colleague of mine who hopes to start his own internet business had a thought I want to pass on to you. He thinks a brief, non-legalese explanation of your concerns would help your readers understand what you are trying to protect yourself from and why a Slate subscription is more complicated than a magazine subscription. He made two other points:

1) What I meant to say in my last missive is that the problem is not with your agreement BY ITSELF but with the proliferation of such agreements.

2) I could have finished my Slate subscription by now if I hadn't spent so much time bitching at you about it.

Mark Lundgren

From: Steve TapiaSent: Tuesday, February 24, 1998 2:09 PM To: Mark Lundgren

Yeah ... but this is more fun, right <smile>?

I understand the problem with the proliferation of legal agreements ... but I am sorry to say that it's only going to get worse, not better. I really do hate many of the things lawyers have inflicted on the world. So, I'm not just "walking the consumer walk" when I say: the overly litigious society we live in makes it a pipe dream to hope that we will have product labels without qualifications or warning labels or business transactions without disclaimers and such. I really wish it was a passing phase, but when you have things like McDonald's being sued for inadequate warnings on their coffee (gee, coffee's hot?!?), even the most well intended businesses get stuck with layers and layers of legalese in an attempt to insulate themselves from big judgments.

As for why this is different than a magazine subscription? Good question. Let me point out the key differences that I see:

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.