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Midsummer Night's Dream

PK, CK and escaping legal consequences

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Disclaimer:


1.   This thread is intended only to foster discussion and ensure consultation for a new rule; that way the rule is not imposed on the community without its input.  It is not intended to be about anyone specific and, quite so, on close inspection, you will see it does not name anyone specific.

 

 

 



The suggested rule is:

Escaping legal consequences arising out of judicial proceedings via PK or CK is not permissible unless: (a) the defendant is at risk of losing 90% of their total wealth, and (b) the defendant has the means or connections to eliminate all of the parties relevant to the proceeding

 

For a primer on this suggestion, please see previous comments below: 

 

 

”Thank you for allowing me to make the representations below. I am deeply concerned about the impact this PK event will have on an already neglected area of roleplay. I have a few observations regarding that. Also, I will not get into the quality of the PK event itself; rather, I will be focusing just on the concept of a PK in these circumstances — to be specific, when escaping legal consequences arising from court. Please take these comments into account while you consider the PK event and how to approach it.
 
1.   Generally, it is widely accepted that roleplayers should not readily resort to extremes to escape legal consequences, particularly without fear of or concern for further consequences. For example, considerable emphasis is placed on roleplayers realistically depicting fear when they interact with the police — that being, perhaps, the commonest way roleplayers face legal consequences. 
  
2.   The result of this expectation is that roleplayers, even the most seasoned gangsters or hardened mobsters, cannot always resort to the extreme and, for example, initiate a shooting with every officer who happens to cross them while out on a drive. They are expected to have regard for further consequences, depict fear and / or hesitation, and — insofar as it is realistic and compatible with their character’s traits — avoid compounding their problem. 
 
3.   Viewed in this light, that expectation demands that roleplayers, insofar as it realistic, either overlook most minor transgressions against their characters, or deal with them through the judicial system or some other grievance-handling process (e.g. for any police matters, internal affairs).
 
4.   In my view, this same expectation applies especially to legal consequences which result from private disputes between two or more individuals. The reason is simple: it would ensure realistic private dispute resolution through the court or settlement.
 
5.   Just as the fear-response rule (if you will) is intended to maintain realistic, effective and fair policing roleplay between the law enforcer and the offender, the same rule applied in this context also maintains realistic, fair and amicable dispute resolution between private parties on opposing sides. 
 
6.   Anything less than that, for an already neglected civil court division, would negatively impact, first, activity through that division and, second, the development of San Andreas’ law. It would, further, implant a degree of lawlessness that would inevitably run into both realism and portrayal issues. 
 
7.   It would, in addition, make lawyers who practice outside criminal law too fearful — unrealistically fearful, if I may add — to take on a dispute, particularly if they know little or nothing about the defendant. The effect of this would, among other effects, make the civil division redundant and legal resolution overall very monotonous. Monotonous legal roleplay would mean the courts see only one type of case with the same issues (though different fact patterns) over and over again; the consequence, among others, is that the law's development is stifled.
 
[ . . . ]
 
11.   To mitigate the potentially harmful effects on an already-neglected and niche area of roleplay, I would like to suggest a rule for the use of PK and CK to escape legal consequences. The rule would provide that:
 
"Escaping legal consequences arising out of judicial proceedings via PK or CK is not permissible unless: (a) the defendant is at risk of losing 90% of their total wealth, and (b) the defendant has the means or connections to eliminate all of the parties relevant to the proceeding."
  
 
Thank you again for the opportunity to make these comments. I would be happy to answer any questions.”

 

 

 

As most people understand it, the court system deals with niche roleplay, particularly the civil division.  For this reason, any excessive out-of-character interference or lack of out-of-character regulation could mean the end of it.

 

To put it into perceptive and help see one reason as to why this rule is important, players already overly rely on the out-of-character player report system.  I have seen staff refer reporters to the court system, which is heartening; but it does not occur nearly enough to maintain the court’s viability.  (For examples as to reports which could have been actionable claims to contribute to activity in the civil court, please see here (breach of contract and / or unjust enrichment) and here (contractual misrepresentation) ).

 

The few cases that do reach the civil court are, thus, important.  Unfortunately, this is where unfettered PK and CK threaten the court’s viability. 

 

It is simply not sustainable for those who roleplay as practicing lawyers to undertake weeks- or months-long roleplay only to see it mooted by PK or CK intended to escape the consequences. 

 

Further, unfettered PK and CK in context this encourages evasive action that, occurring on a large scale, would inevitably run into realism issues.

 

It goes without saying that roleplay in this community is not supposed to emulate a 12th-century feudal approach to justice; marked by blood feuds for perceived private wrongs, or to escape their consequences. 

 

There is already strain on this roleplay caused by the player report system and players’ tendencies to overly rely on this report system.  That tendency has already limited traffic through these courts.  A second assault from unfettered PK and/or CK could be the last straw.

 

Thank you for your time, ladies and gentlegerms!  Feel free to hit the like or subscribe button below, or leave a comment! Do all three if you must! 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Midsummer Night's Dream
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pogoyo    86

I learned one important thing during my time RPing a lawyer here: not only is this a niche field, but it can become prohibitively complex for most players to the extent that they are disengaged from participating. And for that matter, prohibitive to the extent they do not even want to participate. At the same time, the consequences of this sphere of RP and its effects in-game have only grown. I consider that a bad thing.

 

I don't mean to sully this suggestion by linking it to the instance from which it was borne, but they are somewhat inseparable. Recently, there was a case called Klementz v. Santoro (that the author of this suggestion pursued). I believe, with certainty, the outcome of that case is why this thread exists. The aforementioned case was over a forum property sale conducted casually in PM and on the thread, the sort that have been conducted for the entirety of my time on the server. A player made a bid on the property and the seller accepted it at the time in PM. Then, the seller updated the current bid on the sale thread, informing bidders that a certain amount had been offered and would be accepted if not for higher offers. Someone bid higher and the seller sold their property to that player.

 

The bidder who lost out contacted the above-named author to pursue a case. They pursued a case seeking nearly $650,000 in compensation and "LOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY" for an unrealized $400,000 bid on the property. To put this in simpler terms: someone bid 400k on a property, the seller said it was a good offer, then courted a higher bid and accepted that sale. The original bidder sued the seller for the value of the property and an added 20% after having lost nothing. The bidder paid no money preemptively, had spent little time in preparation, and certainly had not drafted an approximation of lost profit. The case continued only on merits that the IC lawyer was well-versed in contract law, motivated to win, verbally articulate and was willing to spend their free time drafting documents, briefs and numerous appeals. That does not make it a fair mechanism in the game economy or in the context of how this server has been traditionally played by most players. In fact, I consider it bafflingly predatory. The lawyer had sound legal basis in the real world, given the overwhelming broadness of contract law and how it can be applied. But it is abusive to assume that players on this server study law in that depth, and for that matter, that even many RP lawyers or IC police study law in that depth. Some do, but overwhelmingly, they acquired that knowledge prior to playing this server, because these are not technicalities that anyone comes to understand in the course of a night, a week or even a month.

 

When Dean and I pursued cases, we sued based on explicit contract law that a party signed with full knowledge of the consequences, or we sued the LSPD for criminal appeals or civil damages; in effect, so no single player's entire account and role play experience ended up wiped out by a wordy hobby writer. Advocates of the author's suggestion would say "ignorance of the law is not a defense from the law." Essentially, every businessperson needs to be an expert in contract law or ICly employ someone who is. Certain individuals who have come to this RP sphere command great breadth of overall legal knowledge, such that to adequately defend oneself, a player would need to be legally well informed by actual real-life standards, not even video game standards. By no means do I consider this sphere of RP one that players should be consequentially compelled to participate in, and I say that as one of the only people who actually participated in it as an "early adopter," before there was a DA's office, a public defender's office, or prosecutors.

 

TL;DR - IC lawyers, at the end of the day, mostly care about the jurisprudence at debate rather than the IC consequences of the case. It is a game of intellectual and verbal sparring for "educated hobbyists." But a rule like this compels ordinary players who would rather run a business in-game to get caught in the crossfire of a forum sparring game. In the above-mentioned case, it nearly cost a player $600,000 in fees over technicalities of a forum sale, and nearly awarded that same amount to a player who did absolutely nothing other than bid too low and then call a lawyer.

 

This is a dangerous and abusive avenue for legal RP to take, one that would put 95% of players off the system and create an artificial forum aristocracy of knowledgeable and wordy forum warriors with disproportionately high levels of influence in-game. This happened on NGG, where, (no offense) the above-mentioned author maintained the excessive degree of scope and IC influence I'm trying to speak against. I do not want to play on a server where the average player's experience can be irreparably obliterated by law wonks knipping at technicalities, knowing that the people they are pursuing would have no reason to be knowledgeable about any of them. This suggestion is hardly a veiled attempt at reaching that type of ecosystem: the permissible level of being able to take a PK/CK or other IC course of action is that risk has to be 90% of a player's wealth.

 

Who wants an IRL lawyer to be able to clean a player of 89% of their entire accumulated wealth and cripple their RP experience just for kicks and online legal sandboxing, without even having to go in-game to do it, over a forum bid? Not me, and I know how to do it!

 

It may look like a lot of hard work and a lot of effort, but it is done by people who actually know how to do these things. I can tell you from personal experience that the author of this post does not spend weeks researching cases: he spends a few hours. And it has the potential to be used in an extremely predatory fashion, to the disadvantage of the majority of players on the server, to the advantage of a very select and learned few. It has already been used in a predatory fashion, and even as one of the first active IC lawyers on this server, I'm very glad that the case which seems to have spawned this suggestion came to an "out-of-court" end.

 

Dean and I once pursued a criminal appeal for over a week that ended up being voided OOCly, and it was a case that would have cost the LSPD a good deal of money that would have gone to the client and ourselves. In the end, we got nothing. Boohoo! The overall server and gameplay experience should not revolve around dictation by law heads in a niche field.

Edited by pogoyo
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Tr1bal    308
1 hour ago, pogoyo said:

I learned one important thing during my time RPing a lawyer here: not only is this a niche field, but it can become prohibitively complex for most players to the extent that they are disengaged from participating. And for that matter, prohibitive to the extent they do not even want to participate. At the same time, the consequences of this sphere of RP and its effects in-game have only grown. I consider that a bad thing.

 

I don't mean to sully this suggestion by linking it to the instance from which it was borne, but they are somewhat inseparable. Recently, there was a case called Klementz v. Santoro (that the author of this suggestion pursued). I believe, with certainty, the outcome of that case is why this thread exists. The aforementioned case was over a forum property sale conducted casually in PM and on the thread, the sort that have been conducted for the entirety of my time on the server. A player made a bid on the property and the seller accepted it at the time in PM. Then, the seller updated the current bid on the sale thread, informing bidders that a certain amount had been offered and would be accepted if not for higher offers. Someone bid higher and the seller sold their property to that player.

 

The bidder who lost out contacted the above-named author to pursue a case. They pursued a case seeking nearly $650,000 in compensation and "LOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY" for an unrealized $400,000 bid on the property. To put this in simpler terms: someone bid 400k on a property, the seller said it was a good offer, then courted a higher bid and accepted that sale. The original bidder sued the seller for the value of the property and an added 20% after having lost nothing. The bidder paid no money preemptively, had spent little time in preparation, and certainly had not drafted an approximation of lost profit. The case continued only on merits that the IC lawyer was well-versed in contract law, motivated to win, verbally articulate and was willing to spend their free time drafting documents, briefs and numerous appeals. That does not make it a fair mechanism in the game economy or in the context of how this server has been traditionally played by most players. In fact, I consider it bafflingly predatory. The lawyer had sound legal basis in the real world, given the overwhelming broadness of contract law and how it can be applied. But it is abusive to assume that players on this server study law in that depth, and for that matter, that even many RP lawyers or IC police study law in that depth. Some do, but overwhelmingly, they acquired that knowledge prior to playing this server, because these are not technicalities that anyone comes to understand in the course of a night, a week or even a month.

 

 

Who wants an IRL lawyer to be able to clean a player of 89% of their entire accumulated wealth and cripple their RP experience just for kicks and online legal sandboxing, without even having to go in-game to do it, over a forum bid? Not me, and I know how to do it!

 

 

It's the "Soccer" mentality that makes people believe they can achieve more by cheating and lying. With a quick look into Klementz v. Santoro it was clear that Mr.Santoro intentionally used ill mannered tactics to gain more money out of the deal and just ignored Ms.Klementz. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that, but I agree with everything you wrote ; People should not be cleaned out 90% of their funds because of such IC mistakes, the main goal should be to keep the OOC motivation to play ones character intact, so the IC judges should be more lenient with their final decisions. With the case in hand - 50 grand fine sounds fair enough. Same goes for bikers demanding 300 grand from the Police department.

 

5 hours ago, Midsummer Night's Dream said:

It is simply not sustainable for those who roleplay as practicing lawyers to undertake weeks- or months-long roleplay only to see it mooted by PK or CK intended to escape the consequences. 

 

Isn't there a rule in place already that forbids people from CK/PK'ing out of the court cases? Maybe it was in LSRP. If not then there should be. Combined with what I said above it would be a perfect match for all parties.

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pogoyo    86
18 minutes ago, Tr1bal said:

It's the "Soccer" mentality that makes people believe they can achieve more by cheating and lying. With a quick look into Klementz v. Santoro it was clear that Mr.Santoro intentionally used ill mannered tactics to gain more money out of the deal and just ignored Ms.Klementz. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that, but I agree with everything you wrote ; People should not be cleaned out 90% of their funds because of such IC mistakes, the main goal should be to keep the OOC motivation to play ones character intact, so the IC judges should be more lenient with their final decisions. With the case in hand - 50 grand fine sounds fair enough. Same goes for bikers demanding 300 grand from the Police department.

 

 

Isn't there a rule in place already that forbids people from CK/PK'ing out of the court cases? Maybe it was in LSRP. If not then there should be. Combined with what I said above it would be a perfect match for all parties.

50 grand is a different story. I disagree with you that taking a higher bid in an auction, even if improperly communicated, is an "intentionally ill-mannered tactic," but I'll digress from that point. If the risk someone faced for a minimal breach were kept relatively slim, this would be a no-brainer. In that instance, I guarantee you the case would have ended in court. This would have ended in court even if the lawsuit were for 100k. The problem is that certain individuals with high levels of knowledge want to unfairly and abusively shoot for the moon (650k) and nothing prevents them from doing so, because real-life examples of contract law incidents also yield high monetary compensation. That, coupled with a set of rules that would force people no alternative recourse but to participate, is a recipe for disaster. This case ended only as it did because by any holistic account, the sought compensation was overly punitive and unfair.

 

Our RP judicial system, usually to its advantage, is highly based on real case law. But the above case serves to me as a perfect example for what is possible when that framework is abused. 650k for a forum auction that was originally worth 400k, where the plaintiff was victimless save for the concept of "breach of contract" and "lost business opportunity." Hahaha!

 

I don't think a rule of this sort should be made at all, but if it were, it would have to come in tandem with OOCly mandated compensatory limits in court to prevent writer savants from dominating the economic landscape and playing on others' ignorance.

Edited by pogoyo

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On 2/11/2020 at 3:33 PM, pogoyo said:

I learned one important thing during my time RPing a lawyer here: not only is this a niche field, but it can become prohibitively complex for most players to the extent that they are disengaged from participating. And for that matter, prohibitive to the extent they do not even want to participate. At the same time, the consequences of this sphere of RP and its effects in-game have only grown. I consider that a bad thing.

 

I don't mean to sully this suggestion by linking it to the instance from which it was borne, but they are somewhat inseparable. Recently, there was a case called Klementz v. Santoro (that the author of this suggestion pursued). I believe, with certainty, the outcome of that case is why this thread exists. The aforementioned case was over a forum property sale conducted casually in PM and on the thread, the sort that have been conducted for the entirety of my time on the server. A player made a bid on the property and the seller accepted it at the time in PM. Then, the seller updated the current bid on the sale thread, informing bidders that a certain amount had been offered and would be accepted if not for higher offers. Someone bid higher and the seller sold their property to that player.

 

The bidder who lost out contacted the above-named author to pursue a case. They pursued a case seeking nearly $650,000 in compensation and "LOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY" for an unrealized $400,000 bid on the property. To put this in simpler terms: someone bid 400k on a property, the seller said it was a good offer, then courted a higher bid and accepted that sale. The original bidder sued the seller for the value of the property and an added 20% after having lost nothing. The bidder paid no money preemptively, had spent little time in preparation, and certainly had not drafted an approximation of lost profit. The case continued only on merits that the IC lawyer was well-versed in contract law, motivated to win, verbally articulate and was willing to spend their free time drafting documents, briefs and numerous appeals. That does not make it a fair mechanism in the game economy or in the context of how this server has been traditionally played by most players. In fact, I consider it bafflingly predatory. The lawyer had sound legal basis in the real world, given the overwhelming broadness of contract law and how it can be applied. But it is abusive to assume that players on this server study law in that depth, and for that matter, that even many RP lawyers or IC police study law in that depth. Some do, but overwhelmingly, they acquired that knowledge prior to playing this server, because these are not technicalities that anyone comes to understand in the course of a night, a week or even a month.

 


Half-truths and exaggerations. Clearly, you’ve either been sent or arrived on your own accord to develop a narrative against the case in question. (Conveniently, you did not mention your out-of-character relations with the defendant — a conflict of interest worthy of mention if one had any integrity.)

 

The claim did not pursue $600 000 in lost opportunity. You included part of the fees and expenses related to appearing in court.  The total of the lost opportunity was 582.5 thousand.  That includes recouping the initial investment to purchase the property when it is sold later at an excess of 400 thousand.  These are reasonable figures and would have been defended had the defendant bothered to participate. Instead, they’ve opted for an bad-faith attempt to develop an out-of-character narrative. 

 

The claim pursued basic principles of contract.  Dubbing them “technicalities” because they challenged your understanding of contracts does not make them anything other than basic. Again, a thinly-veiled attempt to develop an out-of-character narrative around barely defensible in-character lawless conduct.



 

Quote

 


When Dean and I pursued cases, we sued based on explicit contract law that a party signed with full knowledge of the consequences, or we sued the LSPD for criminal appeals or civil damages; in effect, so no single player's entire account and role play experience ended up wiped out by a wordy hobby writer. Advocates of the author's suggestion would say "ignorance of the law is not a defense from the law." Essentially, every businessperson needs to be an expert in contract law or ICly employ someone who is. Certain individuals who have come to this RP sphere command great breadth of overall legal knowledge, such that to adequately defend oneself, a player would need to be legally well informed by actual real-life standards, not even video game standards. By no means do I consider this sphere of RP one that players should be consequentially compelled to participate in, and I say that as one of the only people who actually participated in it as an "early adopter," before there was a DA's office, a public defender's office, or prosecutors.

 


Misleading rhetoric. 

 

You cannot broadly condemn those who roleplay in this area as “not caring for IC consequences.”  That is unsubstantiated (you didn’t even attempt to justify this position), unfair and accusatory.  Perhaps in your char’s legal matters you only cared about getting your client out of prison or having their conviction quashed, regardless of further consequences; but you cannot impute this motive and disposition to others.  In other words, speak for yourself!

 

Evidently, if you actually read the claim, you would have seen concern for IC consequences of the breach — consequences which are not only beyond the immediate parties, but also worthy of consideration.  
 

Clearly, then, your post here hysterically attempts to cast practitioners in a bad light with an unfair and broad-brushed narrative. 


 

Quote

 


This is a dangerous and abusive avenue for legal RP to take, one that would put 95% of players off the system and create an artificial forum aristocracy of knowledgeable and wordy forum warriors with disproportionately high levels of influence in-game. This happened on NGG, where, (no offense) the above-mentioned author maintained the excessive degree of scope and IC influence I'm trying to speak against. I do not want to play on a server where the average player's experience can be irreparably obliterated by law wonks knipping at technicalities, knowing that the people they are pursuing would have no reason to be knowledgeable about any of them. This suggestion is hardly a veiled attempt at reaching that type of ecosystem: the permissible level of being able to take a PK/CK or other IC course of action is that risk has to be 90% of a player's wealth.

 

Who wants an IRL lawyer to be able to clean a player of 89% of their entire accumulated wealth and cripple their RP experience just for kicks and online legal sandboxing, without even having to go in-game to do it, over a forum bid? Not me, and I know how to do it!
 

 

 

Half-truths bordering on malicious.  Malicious because I’ve looked through a number of suggestions and I’ve not seen one suggestion in which another member injected the OP’s background into the discussion (in the first reply, no less) in effort to impute questionable motives for their suggestion. It’s wrong, irrelevant and deserves some manner of reprimand.  (Unfortunately, the staff moderating my last thread was more keen to act on respectful references to a roleplay scenario than the post here, containing a reference which reeks of personal animus). 
 

As for other parts, they are opinionated and exaggerated rhetoric.

 

 

Quote


It may look like a lot of hard work and a lot of effort, but it is done by people who actually know how to do these things. I can tell you from personal experience that the author of this post does not spend weeks researching cases: he spends a few hours. And it has the potential to be used in an extremely predatory fashion, to the disadvantage of the majority of players on the server, to the advantage of a very select and learned few. It has already been used in a predatory fashion, and even as one of the first active IC lawyers on this server, I'm very glad that the case which seems to have spawned this suggestion came to an "out-of-court" end.
 


There’s only a kern of truth to this. Everything else is opinionated and unjustified — “predatory” because the claimant pursued competent help to recover what she lost after the sale of a commercial property fell through at no fault her own? One which fell through because the seller reneged, even while he quite literally told her — twice — that he had the services of a lawyer. 


Predatory is reneging on agreements in a lawless fashion and then, when called to court to answer, lawlessly eliminating the problem — despite having access to at least two lawyers while the buyer had none. 
 

Predatory is parading out-of-character friends and exploiting connections at an out-of-character level to save face and sooth the ego.

 

 

Quote


Dean and I once pursued a criminal appeal for over a week that ended up being voided OOCly, and it was a case that would have cost the LSPD a good deal of money that would have gone to the client and ourselves. In the end, we got nothing. Boohoo! The overall server and gameplay experience should not revolve around dictation by law heads in a niche field.
 

 


Half-truth.  The only truth to it is that it was voided. This is misleading because you cannot be assured of the result.  A criminal appeal — for those unaware — only dealt with a defendant’s guilt. It did not award damages. For that you’d have to go to the civil division. A person who is acquitted is not automatically entitled to compensation; you speak as if the acquittal in your appeal would have guaranteed recovery — that’s not how the law ever worked.

 

I take it you are speaking of the Kyle Brock matter.  If you are, as I l’adresse pointed out to you privately, it is doubtful qualified immunity for mistaken identity wouldn’t have applied — the authorities were on the police’s side. In other words, this was a poor example. 

 

 

I did not make this suggestion thread  for you to take it personal, peddle half-truths and exaggerations, with the usual rhetorical deluge seen in your roleplay, and ultimately derail it from the get-go. No more.

 

 

 

Edited by Midsummer Night's Dream

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I think it’s best to just archive the suggestion because it’s already been derailed. 
 

Nothing relating to suggestion’s concerns  has been discussed so far.
 

If court roleplay and developing laws through in-characterly resolved cases is important to the community, then someone else can make the suggestion (or a moderator can clean up this thread). 

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