On Jun 23, 2006, at 4:28 PM, Tom DeReggi wrote:

Many on this list like to just make things up as opposed to getting an actual legal opinion from a practicing attorney that specializes in this field.

I'm not aware of that going on much at all on this list, its just not true.

Do you really believe that? I know the comments you made in regard to 911 compliance I countered with facts I can backup. Therefore, your ideas on 911 compliance were either just made up or worse, your lawyer agreed with you on them. If you didn't check your ideas against the FCC's order, asked an FCC staffer for an opinion, or verified them with a lawyer then my statement above --no matter how disrespectful you may find it-- would seemingly be correct.

Instead what people on this list do is THINK for themselves. They look for possible ways to get around the rules, and debate the validity of those possibilities. Why, because its how small independant providers survive, save money, stay competitive, and have the oportunity to deploy services in this industry, that so many want to see prevented or to over incumber the small provider so they go away.

I'm all for people thinking for themselves, looking, and sharing ways to deal with regulations as they come up. However, when one's contributions to such a discussion is not informed then I don't think it helps anyone survive, save money, or stay competitive.

Secondly, a Lawyer is like an Accountant, in the sense that they are liable for the advice that they give, and their job is not to advise you how to get around the law, but instead how to comply to it with certainty, in a way that they will not be liable if they are wrong, instead stretching the rules for everything they can get out of it. Its up to the client to push the limits, based on the advise legal council has made them aware of and risk involved walking the line close.

Again, in order to use a lawyer in such a manner then you must be informed. How can you suggest possibilities to your lawyer if you haven't read the order?

Thirdly, regulation is not just a legal issue, it is also a technical issue. I don't care how much council you get and how good they are, Lawyers rarely understand the minute details that differentiate technical issues. Historically, even the best lawyers, tend to be technically challenged. I know I service them daily. Why, because their time is more valuable, so they pay others to learn the technical stuff for them. I don't trust a lawyer any more than a congressman to understand detailed technical issues of our industry, that we have trouble understanding ourselves as the experts in it everyday full time. (no disrepect meant to the legal profession, and there are some legal council that are technically savy of course, some that have even advised on this list).

I think you have just made a gross generalization about an entire industry. For example, patent attorneys are required to have a technical background and often possess a Phd in their field of specialization. Additionally, I know for a fact that several of our attorneys are more knowledgeable about the PSTN and 911 both legally and technically than I am.

Fourthly, Why should everyone pay for legal council and replicate costs, when we can share knowledge learned. There are many places to learn other than jsut legal council. Studying FCC comments, learning at trade shows, or reading common publications. I don't see much "Making it up". Although I do see a lot of "IDEAS".

Please point me to FCC comments, trade show presentations, or publications that you used for your ideas. Certainly, without those sources then those ideas must be made up.

Fifthly, Sometimes people don't pay legal council because its just not cost effective during the idea phase. I'm sure most people do consult council, just like you, at the appropriate time.

What is the appropriate time? Before or after one has stated publicly on a mailing list their position. You don't think that if someone has a serious injury due to the failure of a 911 call that public archives might be searched to see if the offending organization was negligent.

If you think paying council, is discovering the complete undisputable answer, you are fooling yourself. Thats why they have judges. To determine which point of view is correct, when the point of view between two legal teams on a toipic differ. Your legal council, is just one preception of the law. And I'm interested in hearing your perceptions as well, as the perceptions of the others on this list.

The correct answer isn't as important as a legally defendable answer. If I am advised by counsel that I am complying with the law and am later found not to be by a judge then my lawyer is at fault.

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