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List Rules and Procedures

Back to AHLA Discussion Lists

AHLA Discussion Lists: User Information and Agreement

Please note: By subscribing to a list you agree to follow these List Rules and Procedures as then in effect.

Discussion lists are email discussion groups. After subscribing to a discussion list, you can send messages to other subscribers and you will receive messages other subscribers send to the list. A listing of the current AHLA discussion lists can be found at: A moderator is in charge of making sure each list runs smoothly. The name of the moderator for each list can be found at

Discussion lists are a service of AHLA, and subscriptions to the lists are free. Most lists are open to AHLA members and the public. 

AHLA hosts the lists as issue-related forums for its members to dialogue and network on health law issues. Participants may not use the lists for political purposes or to advocate for or oppose any particular candidate or position. Any opinions, statements or positions appearing on the lists are those of their respective author(s) only, and not necessarily those of AHLA or its membership as a whole. Although AHLA provides the means by which users can share information, AHLA makes no guarantee or warranty whatsoever regarding the information presented on the lists. Thus, users should take appropriate measures to verify the accuracy of any information appearing on the lists before relying upon it for any
purpose. While participants may make statements on legal issues, no statement on any of the lists should be construed as legal advice. Those seeking legal advice should retain counsel for that purpose.

AHLA's lists are covered in the AHLA Privacy Policy at Among other protections, this policy ensures that AHLA will not sell or distribute the email addresses of list subscribers.

Table of Contents:


  1. Accessing the lists through the web
  2. Subscribing and unsubscribing to the lists
  3. Posting a message to the lists
  4. Posting attachments
  5. Responding to a post: hitting "reply" sends a message to all list subscribers
  6. Searching for past discussion list postings
  7. Getting help


Rules of the Road: "Netiquette"

  1. Avoid advertisements or solicitations
  2. Do not use subscribers' emails for any other purpose
  3. Include identification of poster, unless posted anonymously
  4. Avoid viruses
  5. Do not seek specific legal advice
  6. Follow copyright law
  7. Respect the lists and other list subscribers
  8. Avoid "me too" and "thank you" messages
  9. Avoid personal messages and private discussions
  10. Stay on topic
  11. Use a good subject line
  12. Quote smartly


AHLA appreciates your cooperation in making the discussion lists a valuable resource. If you have questions or comments about this document, please contact


1. Accessing the lists through the web
Users can find the discussion lists through the Health Law Resources tab under Discussion Lists. Users may wish to bookmark lists that are of particular interest to them.

2. Subscribing and unsubscribing to the lists
You can subscribe to or unsubscribe from a discussion list using the 'Discussion List Settings' option in the welcome drop down menu on the home page. There are three delivery options, standard, daily digest, and weekly digest. With standard delivery, you receive each message sent to the list individually throughout the day. With digest delivery, you receive one message a day or week, which contains all the individual messages sent during that period.

Do not send unsubscribe requests to the list address. Unsubscribe requests and other requests for assistance with your subscription should never be sent to the list address ( because your message will go to all subscribers and they will not be processed. All unsubscribe requests should be done through the 'Discussion List Settings' option of the drop down welcome menu. If you need assistance with your subscription, contact

This option will take you to the page where you can select your preferred delivery method.

3. Posting a message to the lists
There are three ways to post a message to the lists. First, you can send your message to the email address, replacing "ListName" with the name of the discussion list to which you are posting. Second, you can hit "reply" to a message you received from the discussion list (being careful to change the subject line). Third, on the discussion list web site, you can navigate to the appropriate list and then choose the 'New' option. You must be subscribed to a list to post to that list.

4. Posting attachments
The list software does not permit attachments to email messages. However, if you have a file to share, you can post it on the web version of the list. All subscribers will still receive an email of your message, so if you are attaching a file through the website, please tell subscribers in your message that you have posted an attachment to the web version. All attachments must be relevant and kept to a small file size. Check all attachments before posting and before opening. Because attachments may contain viruses and some viruses may elude detection by AHLA, every subscriber should be cautious about opening file attachments (see Viruses item below). Recipients open attachments at their own risk.

5. Responding to a post: hitting "reply" sends a message to all list subscribers
Hitting both "reply" and "reply all" sends a message to all list subscribers. If a person wants to respond privately to the sender, the person should "forward" to the sender's personal email.

6. Avoid forwarding a post and replying to multiple lists
A special GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) is needed in a message to allow it to land correctly on a subject in a discussion list. Very simply put, the GUID does not operate correctly in directing a message to the correct thread when a message is forwarded or when a reply is sent to multiple lists. For this reason, we need to avoid 'forwarding' an email post or 'replying' to multiple lists (New emails to multiple lists still work).

7. Searching for past discussion list postings
To search for past postings, go to the search function on the AHLA home page ( and then narrow the results to the 'discussion lists' scope. This will return results from both the new discussion lists and the old list serve archives (before the switch in technology).

8. Avoiding confidential content
Messages sent to the lists are not confidential. Therefore, be careful about identification of any clients or other entities or individuals.

9. Getting help
To get help with your list subscription, send a message with your help request to

Rules of the Road: "Netiquette"

Thousands of individuals participate in the AHLA discussion lists. These "rules of the road" are intended to ensure that all participants have an enjoyable and valuable experience. These basic rules will be enforced by the discussion list moderators and AHLA leadership and staff.

1. Avoid advertisements and solicitations
Without permission from AHLA, subscribers may not post advertisements or solicitations of any kind on the discussion lists. 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 the list of your personal experience handling particular types of matters.

Subscribers who post ads or solicitations without authorization from AHLA will be removed from the list. Subscribers wishing to obtain such permission should send an email to

2. Do not use subscribers' email addresses for any other purpose
No one is allowed to collect or use the addresses of list subscribers for the purposes of unsolicited email marketing or self-promotion. Once notified of such activity, AHLA will permanently remove the offending party from the lists. If violations continue, AHLA may take appropriate legal action. If you have received spam and you believe your email address was gathered from an AHLA list, please contact

3. Include identification of the poster (including email address)
Identify yourself and your organization in the messages you post to the lists. An email "signature" is the most convenient way to do this. However, signatures and other automatically inserted text must be kept short and must comply with all list guidelines. Please include your email address in your signature. If you do not include your email, you will not be able to receive private (off-list) replies because a "reply" to a message goes to the entire list.

4. Avoid viruses in attachments
The lists do not distribute attachments by email. However, documents can be posted to the list through the AHLA website, so posters must take care that the documents do not carry viruses. Subscribers should be aware that AHLA cannot guarantee that documents posted are virus-free. Subscribers participate in the discussion lists at their own risk.

5. Do not seek specific legal advice
The lists provide a forum for discussion of legal issues but they are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you are seeking specific legal advice, consult an attorney in a formal capacity.

6. Follow copyright law
The discussion lists are maintained in a manner consistent with United States copyright laws. Subscribers 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 discussion lists grant AHLA the authority and right to use any the submission in any way. AHLA may reproduce list messages in the list archives and other places.

7. Respect the lists and other list subscribers
AHLA discussion lists are forums for respectful, professional discussion, and subscribers are expected to exercise good judgment in posting. No personal attacks or "flames" are allowed. Similarly, messages posted to the lists must not contain any content that could reasonably be considered abusive, profane, or obscene. Political statements should not be posted. Subscribers who engage in unacceptable conduct will be removed from the lists.

8. Avoid "me too" and "thank you" messages
By design, messages are sent to the entire list. When you see a message asking for information about a particular subject that you are interested in, avoid posting a message asking for a copy of the information. Also, if you post a question and get a response, avoid posting a "thank you" note to the whole list. Feel free to send a private thank you, if you'd like, but our subscribers don't need to be thanked on-list for helping you.

9. Avoid personal messages, private discussions, and political activity
The lists are not for personal messages or private discussions. If you are seeking information for personal use, such as asking someone to send you a document or other item, please send a personal message directly to the poster, not to the list. Job postings and announcements should be posted to the AHLA Job Bank, Likewise, please do not post messages for purely personal purposes, such as to notify others if a new position, new contract information, etc.

Participants may not use the lists for political purposes or to advocate for or oppose any particular candidate or position.

10. Stay on topic
All posts should be relevant to the scope of the listserve. Check for each lists' scope.

11. Use a good subject line
When posting a message to the list, pick a Subject line text that concisely describes the topic of your message. If you are replying to a message in a digest email, change the subject line to "Re:" and then the actual subject of your message. You should also change the subject of your message when the topic of a discussion thread has changed significantly.

12. Quote smartly
Quoting previous messages can help provide context to your reply. However, this makes the messages longer and can make the lists run slower, so delete previous messages in the thread if they are no longer relevant to the discussion. If you are replying to a message in a digest email, please remove all other messages from your reply. Remember to remove the footers that many email programs automatically append to outgoing messages, which can add greatly to the length of messages.

13. Use the words "out of office" or "out of the office" in your out-of-office message
The new discussion list configuration contains a strong out of office filter. This means that when you go on vacation, you no longer need to alter your list subscriptions. As long as your out-of-office message subject contains the words "out of office" or "out of the office," the filter will block it from distribution to the list. If you do not use these words in your out-of-office message subject line, it will be distributed to the entire list.

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