Testing and lawyers

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The Sun-Sentinel ran a short y2k story in the business section today, Rivals sharing ideas, resources, talking about how the airlines and telcos have shared solutions and done cooperative testing. But this paragraph kind of stopped me in my tracks....

The cooperation hasn't been easy. BellSouth and AT&T spent months with their lawyers and contract negotiators before they could agree on what tests to conduct.

The lawyers are involved in what tests to run? Am I just getting overly sensitive to this kind of stuff, or does this seem like a bad idea?

-- Bob (bob@bob.bob), July 28, 1999


This is elementary. Lawyers know what other lawyers are likely to come up with as a basis for a lawsuit. Therefore they try to cover every contingency and thereby squander months of valuable time that should be used to test and fix. Would you expect more? When you are dealing with a bunch of people trying to line their own pockets, it is difficult to see the objective. A mutual we agree to not sue each other as a result of these tests would have been sufficient in an earlier time before there were so many lawyers. We ought to pass a law to build no new law schools and that people can not be admitted to existing law schools until they commit to a year of public service for each year of law school. Why should we subsidize the education of more attorneys so there can be more lawsuits?

-- Curly (Curly@notstupid.gom), July 28, 1999.

Bob, Your question does present some possible nefarious angles for consideration, but there is also the mundane consideration that testing could be quite expensive and there might be a lot of negotiation about who is going to pay for what, particularly if the testing might break something.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), July 28, 1999.

What screams out at me about this is that it gives support to the notion that Y2k remediation is taking place in the same kind of environment where it was born in the first place.

Only, with the addition of lawyers into the mix and the fear of lawsuits, my thinking is that the environment is actually worse.

Why is there slippage? Why is there silence? Why is there spin?

And why would anyone think that the same problems and politics that plague the interworkings of an entity would simply vanish because the project that is being done is Y2k remediation?

It's the same world. It's the same old problems. It's the same workers. It's the same pressures. It's the same kinds of issues. It's the same questions regarding comphensation.

The only difference is that this deadline, the final, actual deadline, can't be pushed back.



-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), July 28, 1999.

Gary North mentioned long ago that the way corporation chieftains approach problems are with the threat of lawsuits in mind. How can we construct a scenario of readiness that will stand up in court rather than what is the prudent way to keep the organization functional at rollover. After all, it's more cost effective to do it this way in their eyes. More profits, higher stock values. Most are DWGI or DGI anyway. Our V.P. of Corporate Finance mentioned in an e- mail regarding company compliance that we've been here for a hundred years, we'll be here for another hundred. End of problem...

-- PJC (paulchri@msn.com), July 28, 1999.

I wonder what Marma would say about all this?? Hhmmmmmmmmmmm...

-- George (jvilches@sminter.com.ar), July 28, 1999.

Aw, can't we think of ways that lawyers could participate during the testing? You know: "Here, the city attorneys stand here in the park while we test the sewer plant..."

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), July 28, 1999.

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