f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 7, 2004

That’s Not Fair

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:56 pm

I was introduced to Fairness.com this morning — a website dedicated “to help you decide for yourself what’s fair in a given situation.”  I was all set to make this a “not legal but interesting” post with details about Fairness.com, when I ran across the very first entry on its FAQ page and instead found a topic for grumpy old skepticalEsq.


scales rich poor neg   Here’s FAQ #1 (edited for brevity, emphasis added):

1. Can you give me advice about a legal problem I have?

Our site cannot give any legal advice or help with anyone’s specific legal problem; If you have a serious legal problem, there is no substitute for working with a lawyer.  . .

If you cannot afford an attorney, contact your local Legal Aid Society . . .

NOTE— For some legal matters (e.g. a situation that is not a criminal matter, and no one is opposing you, and not much money is at stake), some people can handle some or all aspects of the legal issue themselves with the help of information and forms from very reputable sources (one such source is Nolo Press). Fairness.com LLC generally does not encourage this approach.  For most people, even in low-stakes situations, we feel that self-help is not the best option; if the matter is serious or high stakes, don’t even consider it.

We sure wouldn’t want to encourage choice or fairness for consumers, some of whom do not have unlimited legal budgets or disposable income.  [I’m not sure it’s relevant, but three of the five-member Advisory Board are lawyers].   For legal consumers, apparently, life is unfair and should stay that way.

  • The strange thing for me is that this anti-self-help-law position is the only policy position taken by Fair.com on any topic that I could find on the website (unless you count the fact that they only want sponsors and advertisers with a “squeaky-clean” image and reality).

Having said all that, the site might be of interest to many websurfers.  Daniel Doernberg is President of Fairness.com LLC.  He was the Founder of Computer Literacy Bookshops, Inc. and Co-founder of Peer-to-Peer Communications Inc.   Fair.com describes itself as providing: 

  • an information clearinghouse to help you research any topic related to fairness
  • a communications medium to let you broadcast your opinions, arguments, tips, and warnings about what’s fair (through informal Message Board postings or by writing articles for our site)
  • a source of ideas and discussion topics for those in academic settings; ethics and philosophy classes, social and applied science classes, debate classes and teams, etc.

          Topics covered include:

The most recent materials from each of the topic areas are featured on the Home Page


ethicalEsq suggests that you at least stop by the Contact Page of Fairness.com and let them know they’re being unfair to self-help law.  You might suggest one of our posts on Access and Self-Help law (perhaps this one) as a good place for them to bone up on the issues. 

  • Afterthought (03-08-04): “Fair” and “fairness” surely belong on the list of “cynic incubators” recently discussed by Evan and I.

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