User Rules

User Rules for the AHLA Communities Forums and Discussion Lists (Updated June 2015)

The American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) creates and maintains a number of topical Discussion Lists and professional Forums on the AHLA Communities site http://communities.healthlawyers.org, which serve as a free mechanism for AHLA members and members of the public to discuss current topics of interest. The AHLA Communities support the three core purposes of the association: education, information and dialogue.

The AHLA Communities operates subject to the rules and procedures established by the Association. Thousands of individuals participate in the AHLA Communities. The following "rules of the road" are intended to ensure that all users have an enjoyable and valuable experience. The following basic rules will be enforced by the Discussion List moderators and AHLA leadership and staff. AHLA may change these rules and procedures from time to time.

A note to New List Users: New users of the AHLA Communities need to make sure they have an AHLA profile or login to access the site for the first time. When going to the site for the first time, users will need to agree to follow the rules of the AHLA Communities. Please refer to the AHLA Communities “How To” Guides under the “Help” section of communities.healthlawyers.org for full information.

1.0   No user advertisements or solicitations: Without prior permission from AHLA, users may not post advertisements or solicitations of any kind on the AHLA Communities. This includes posting information about meetings or seeking speakers, authors or contributors to meetings or publications of organizations other than AHLA. This also includes informing a List of user’s personal experience handling particular types of matters. Users who post ads or solicitations without authorization from AHLA will be removed from the Discussion List or Community. Users wishing to obtain such permission should send an email to communities@healthlawyers.org. Users must respond privately to individual requestors seeking recommendations for experts in a particular field.

2.0   Paid Space Advertisements: Paid space advertisements on the AHLA Communities are permitted but may not be purchased by law firms or otherwise used for attorney advertising of any form. Inquiries regarding paid List advertising should be directed to the AHLA membership and marketing staff.

3.0    Do not use users' email addresses for any other purpose: No one is allowed to collect or use the addresses of Electronic Forum users for the purposes of unsolicited email marketing or self-promotion. Once notified of such activity, AHLA will permanently remove the offending party from the AHLA Communities. If violations continue, AHLA may take appropriate legal action. Users who have received spam and believe that their email address was gathered from an AHLA List should contact the AHLA Technology staff.

4.0    Include identification of the user (including email address):
Users should identify themselves and their organization in the messages they post to the AHLA Communities. A default email signature or profile signature (as enabled in each AHLA Communities profile) is the easiest way to do this. As a best practice, keep your signature short, and be sure to include an email address.

5.0    Do not seek specific legal advice: The AHLA Communities provide a forum for discussion of legal issues but they are not intended to provide specific legal advice. And should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Users seeking specific legal advice should consult an attorney in a formal capacity.

6.0    Follow copyright law: The AHLA Communities are maintained in a manner consistent with United States copyright laws. Users should not submit copyrighted material unless the copyright owner of the material has expressly granted advance written consent to such submission. Users that submit information to the AHLA Communities grant AHLA the authority and right to use any the submission in any way. AHLA may reproduce Discussion List messages and other Electronic Forum communications in archives and other places.

7.0    No personal messages, private discussions or political activity: The AHLA Communities are not for personal messages or private discussions. Users seeking information for personal use, such as asking someone to send a document or other item, should send a personal message directly to the user, not to the List. Job postings and announcements should be posted to the AHLA Career Center. Users should not post messages for purely personal purposes (such as to notify others of a new position or to post new contact information, etc). Users may not use the AHLA Communities for political purposes or to advocate for or oppose any particular candidate or position.

8.0    Posting of News “clippings”: List users and moderators may post “clippings” (i.e., news articles from other news sources) but such posts must contain original analysis or commentary authored by the user to illustrate why the article is of particular importance to List subscribers.

9.0    The AHLA Communities are covered in the AHLA Privacy Policy at http://www.healthlawyers.org/Privacy.
Among other protections, this policy ensures that AHLA will not sell or distribute the email addresses of Electronic Forum participants. Electronic Forum participants are similarly barred from selling or distributing the email addresses of or other information concerning other participants.

10.0     List Moderator Functions: AHLA List moderators have the very important role of monitoring the topical discussion lists and professionals forums in the AHLA Communities. You can find the name(s) of a Community’s moderator on the home page of each group on the AHLA Communities. Moderators are familiar with the issues being discussed, and can be contacted directly.

11.0     Post anonymous messages where appropriate. Users may ask the moderator of a Community to post anonymously for them if they do not wish to be identified, e.g., persons with positions in government or single institutions. Moderators should use their judgment in evaluating the appropriateness of the Anonymous messages should be limited since they tend to inhibit on-List conversation and responders cannot respond privately to the sender.


Questions? Concerns? Contact the AHLA Communities staff at communities@healthlawyers.org or call (202) 833-1100, prompt #2.