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Facebook has revolutionized communication. It has connected farriers globally for the betterment of the trade. You can share work to get the advice of others, provide thoughtful advice for a fellow farrier or see what’s going on at a clinic you couldn’t attend.
But while there are tremendous benefits from using Facebook, are there potential legal consequences awaiting farriers on it?
A few months ago, I spoke with a farrier who was concerned that by answering rider or trainer questions in Facebook groups, whether he would be at risk of a lawsuit should a problem arise afterward. I don’t think that the problem would have to relate to the actual advice — just the perception of it to the rider or trainer.
Curious, I spoke to a Midwestern equine attorney, who gave us some insight while asking to forgo attribution because the subject of digital-based malpractice has never been part of her practice. There also is hesitancy to have these observations be mistaken as legal advice. There are too many state-by-state variations of law that make giving legal advice impossible for one article. However, her first observation doesn’t require any legal expertise.
“This is a litigious society, but you don’t need my legal opinion to know that,” the attorney says. “People sue over anything; the risk of litigation is always present. So, to give advice to anyone online could potentially set you up for consequence for litigation.”
She says there isn’t a bullet-proof, catch-all phrase that will protect…