I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Commenting Guidelines

As noted on the blog, I am considering a change in comment guidelines.  The changes are indicated below by being set in boldface type.  I will post a notice on the blog when the changes are put in place.

These are the commenting guidelines at present.  They are subject to change as we go along.

Your first comment will be moderated; after I approve that comment, your comments will be unmoderated.  Occasionally, the WordPress software will reset a user to moderation.  That is almost invariably an accident; write me and let me know there’s a problem.  As of October 11, 2010, I have only once ever set a user to moderation, because of gross repetition and other violations of the policies listed below.

Generally, I will try to explain decisions like throwing comments to a thread or banning a user from comments.  I will decide whether to explain decisions to set a user to moderation on a case-by-case basis; I will explain in an email to the user but may not explain on the blog if there is a reason that would suggest a privacy concern relating to the moderated user.

  • Do not hijack threads.
  • All views are welcome. Obnoxiousness is not.
  • Once you have made your point once or twice, don’t repeat it again.  It begins to sound like either bullying or a refusal to read what you are purporting to answer.
  • I have no desire to police comments in any way, and will only act on the following guidelines to allow an friendly and welcoming community.
  • I reserve the right to moderate and delete comments with seem to me possibly slanderous, particularly where they involve unverifiable statements and particularly where they are made by first-time commenters.
  • I reserve the right to close comments on a thread where I deem it to have been hijacked and/or excessively repetitious.  If more than 4 comments in a thread do not relate to the content of the post, or repeat issues from other threads, I will be likely to close comments.
  • Anyone with internet access is welcome to comment here, except that I retain and hold the right to decide in my sole discretion when posts violate these guidelines allowing me to take the steps outlined in these guidelines.
  • This blog does not dispense legal advice, and the lawyers who post or comment here are not giving legal advice in any shape form or fashion.  If you are in need of legal advice, you need to seek out a lawyer and not a blog.
  • I have a limited tolerance for name calling but am forgiving about people who lose their temper then calm down and go back to normal (whatever that may be).
  • There is zero tolerance for threats of violence and stalking.  I will delete such posts and try to report them to the poster’s internet provider service.
  • There is zero tolerance for racism and bigotry.  I will delete such posts.
  • If a comment seems to me to clearly violates the above guidelines, I will in my sole discretion decide whether to take any of the following steps:  1) Warn the person who made the comment by email;  2) Warn the person who made the comments in comments;  3) Delete the post;  4) Cancel the commenting privileges of person who made the comment; 5) Suspend comments in the thread where the violating comment occurred.    I am committed to providing offline warnings first except in the case of zero tolerance issues or where there have been prior warnings.