I didn't know it at the time of my post on apologies, but on March 25, 2008 the Ontario Bar Association (a branch of the Canadian Bar Association) sent a letter to the provincial government urging the Attorney General of Ontario to amend or enact legislation to "give effect to the provisions of the Uniform Apology Act" in the province.

Forgive the legal language, but here is what the central parts of the proposed Uniform Apology Act (also available on the OBA's website) have to recommend about the effect of an apology (corporate or personal) on liability.

Should such legislation be enacted, the benefit for companies (the legislation would apply to "all persons, natural and corporate") facing a crisis in which management recognizes it has done something worthy of apology is self-evident.

2 (1) An apology made by or on behalf of a person in connection with any matter

(a) does not constitute an express of implied admission of fault or liability by the person in connection with that matter,

(b) does not constitute [a confirmation of a cause of action or acknowledgment of a claim] in relation to that matter for the purposes of [appropriate section of the applicable limitation statute],

(c) does not, despite any wording to the contrary in any contract of insurance and despite any other enactment or law, void, impair or otherwise affect any insurance coverage that is available, or that would, but for the apology, be available, to the person in connection with that matter, and

(d) may not be taken into account in any determination of fault or liability in connection with that matter.

Niall Cook on Enterprise 2.0

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