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Anonymity

Postby dls » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:38 am

A question raised by the discussion about Zebedee is as to whether our assumption of anonymity is still appropriate. Just to restate it, we ask members to hide their real identity under a pseudonym. No objection is taken to those who wish properly to allow their real identity, and (more importantly) no promise of anonymity is given.

We do, I think live happily somewhere in the middle, and I still think that it has served us well.

There are two or three reasons.
First, people do come here often in the middle of a dispute. Not using names, and severely restricting the detail of facts, goes a long way to facilitating discussions but offering very little by way of hostages to fortune.
Second, I still (fondly perhaps) to encourage discussions where the value of the argument is what carries the day - or doesn't - rather than the legal status of the poster.
Third, the lawyers among us have to take care not to allow the creation of any lawyer/client relationship.

The rule did however grow in very different times. Nowadays we have Facebook where the presumptive requirement is that people use their rel identities, and second the law has developed so as to give a little more protection to the operator - me.
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Re: Anonymity

Postby atticus » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:37 pm

There have been at least two occasions where I have suspected that both sides of the same dispute have been posting here.

Your third point explains why my sig says what it does, and why I am very careful about PMs seeking advice.
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Re: Anonymity

Postby dls » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:02 pm

I have in the past been requested to provide copies of posts by police. By chance they had already been deleted (time was when I pruned the database regularly).

I have also had one lawyer come to me after the event to say how pleased he had been to watch his opponent develop his argument.
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Re: Anonymity

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:11 am

dls wrote:I have also had one lawyer come to me after the event to say how pleased he had been to watch his opponent develop his argument.

In a perfect world, that ought not to matter one jot: the law is the law and the facts are the facts.
That one party has an insight into how the other party intends to present those facts does not change them nor the law, and if that insight confers a significant advantage, then that is surely a flaw in the way that things are done?
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Re: Anonymity

Postby Slartibartfast » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:30 pm

Hairyloon wrote:That one party has an insight into how the other party intends to present those facts does not change them nor the law, and if that insight confers a significant advantage, then that is surely a flaw in the way that things are done?


Why?
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Re: Anonymity

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:12 pm

Revenons à nos moutons, someone responded to a tweet of mine this morning using my username here rather than my (admittedly similar) Twitter handle. Which prompts me to enquire, which one of you lot is standing for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party?
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Re: Anonymity

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:03 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:That one party has an insight into how the other party intends to present those facts does not change them nor the law, and if that insight confers a significant advantage, then that is surely a flaw in the way that things are done?


Why?

Try reading the bit that you didn't quote.
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Re: Anonymity

Postby atticus » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:19 pm

In most cases, significant parts of the facts are in dispute. Deciding the facts is a significant part of the job of the trial judge.

In most cases, knowing things about the other side's thinking would be an advantage.
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Re: Anonymity

Postby dls » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:38 am

In a perfect world, that ought not to matter one jot: the law is the law and the facts are the facts.


No such world will ever exist. The job of a lawyer is to present his client's case in the best light. The law is nearly always ambiguous in some aspect, and 'the facts' only exist after the judge rules. Until then you have evidence and argument and persuasion.
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