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I understand what you are asking & why you think there is an easy answer that I'm not giving you, but unfortunately, there isn't one. There's no easy explanation that wouldn't require learning or understanding criminal & civil procedure first. I recognize that's not satisfying, but, well, law is overlapping, conflicting, and complicated.

But no, civil disobedience is not about sentencing guidelines, and its not statutory (legislatures don't create laws for breaking the law) nor is it a defense, but nonetheless, it may be relevant. Again, it depends on many things, like the case itself, the jurisdiction, local rules, applicable laws, the judge...and why any of this matters is hard to understand without a background in civil & criminal procedure.

Someone else asked similar here & I went into further detail about why. A short answer is that humans have have states of mind, intentions and motives, and corporations do not (maybe you think they do; the legal system does not--judges and juries determine them as elements of crimes for humans, but not for corporations.) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14278589

Hope this helps; I wish I had a better way of explaining, but, I'm no sure what else to say other than that our laws distinguish between humans and corporations and so do our courts, because our democracy has determined that its best for public policy not to, for example, allow companies, whose legal purpose is to produce monetary profits for shareholders, to instruct their employees to break laws.




It's hardly pro public policy for natural persons to violate the law, either. Again we come back to this point: What can you point to as any kind of evidence that courts make the distinction you claim. If your answer is that you would need to teach me civil and criminal procedure first, I would note that I am a lawyer and aced those courses, so feel free to assume an advanced understanding in your response. I don't practice actively in criminal matters, hence my seeking to learn the basis of your position. But I understand enough to know that your position is one that, if true, it would have a basis that one could point to somewhere in some jurisdiction without saying "it depends on many things" and "you need to understand civil/criminal procedure". In other words, I see no reason why your view is automatic given the nature of corporations. It seems to me if civil disobedience matters, it matters as the reason for which the party acted. The law views corporations are capable of acting for reasons; how else could you make sense of things like punitive damages awards against corporations? Again, maybe you're right. If you are, please take advantage of the teaching opportunit and share a link. ;)


Yes, that's what I'm saying?

Hmmm. I'll try but maybe we are misunderstanding each other, because this doesn't seem debatable?

There are rules that define what kind of defenses, mitigating circumstances, evidence can be presented etc, are permitted for civil & criminal cases & what common law & evidence can be shared with the jury etc.. I'm unaware of any jurisdiction where corporations are considered equal to people or have a mens rea etc or were permitted to describe their corporate law-breaking as "civil disobedience" to a jury.

That's not how I'd say the law viewed corporations or punitive damages; guessing we use words differently & aren't understanding each other.

I am not sure what else to say; that different rules & laws apply to corporations & people seems to be a standard thing in my world. In my head its a given, so maybe my explanations are not as clear as I think. If I come across a link I'll share.


Thanks for sticking with the exchange. If courts apply different rules for how natural persons and corporations could speak to juries about reasons for noncompliance, that would indeed be interesting. Wasn't aware of that being the case.


Let's say that there is no Uber, per se, just an open-source ride-sharing app, which coordinates drivers and riders. Then drivers (and riders, I suppose) could claim that they were engaging in civil disobedience, right?

And with Uber, the board and owners could similarly claim that they were personally engaging in civil disobedience, right? In the way that they managed Uber. However, I suspect that limited personal liability for corporate actions is a better deal.




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