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Subject: Active participation in DistList

Active participation in DistList

From: Paul Storch <paul.storch>
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 1998
Given the current climate of frivolous litigation in our society,
I'm not surprised that a large bureaucratic institution would
prohibit communication in this forum.  Presumably, the institution's
lawyers fear that treatment advice could be misused and lead to a
subsequent lawsuit by the "victim" who misapplied the advice in the
first place.  The trial lawyers have effectively dismantled the
concept of joint and several liability in this country, witness the
absurd awards in cases like the McDonald's coffee spilling fiasco.

I don't really see any difference between replying to someone
off-list or on-list.  If misuse of advice or rip-off of ideas
occurs, it will be done by the individual recipient, rather than by
a larger number, but it will still happen.  The proper use of this
list still falls back on those old fashioned, out-dated concepts of
(!) personal integrity, honesty, trust, and honor.  It's difficult
for administrators and lawyers to grasp that there might actually be
those of out here who actually know what those terms mean and
utilize them in our professional and personal lives.

I think that this answers Barbara's question of why there would be
such a policy.  As for constructive ways to handle it, I could only
suggest that perhaps the policy makers receive an explanation of the
what the list really is, who is on it, and how it works.  Maybe they
could get a letter from AIC explaining the need and obligation for
professional development of and amongst professional conservators. I
know that at my institution, it takes continual effort to educate
our administrators as to what it takes to develop and maintain a
viable professional conservation program.  Fortunately, to date
there have been no restrictions on my participation in any
discussion lists.

Paul S. Storch
Objects Conservator
John and Martha Daniels Objects Conservation Laboratory (JMD-OCL)
B-109.1, Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul, MN  55102-1906
Fax: 612-297-2967

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:4
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 18, 1998
                        Message Id: cdl-12-4-004
Received on Wednesday, 17 June, 1998

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