Why do people put legal disclaimers in email signatures?

Dave, I just joined a new mailing list and am finding it really weird that while most members have the regular 2-3 line email signatures with their name, company, Web site URL, or similar, a few people have these incredibly long signatures that are some sort of legal disclaimer about the advice they give, whether they can be quoted in other venues. etc. What’s the story here?

As you clearly know, the recommended netiquette guidelines for email and group posting signatures is four lines, ideally prefaced by a single line with just two dashes, but after years of Internet evolution, lots of people ignore it and do what they want.

Even I’m guilty. Here’s my typical signature now:

Dave Taylor
————————————————————————
    Intuitive Systems: Online Strategies and Communications
————————————————————————
  Innovative Business Thinking @ http://www.intuitive.com/blog/

Count the lines and I’ve exceeded the recommended four. Ah well.

But there are some people who go quite a bit further with their signatures, beyond what folk find acceptable. As it turns out, on one of the groups I’m involved with, there’s a discussion about one person’s rather long signature, and it’s exactly what you’re talking about…