Legal certainly doesn't mean ethical. There are tons of little loopholes people, corporations, and governments can exploit to gain an advantage, even when it's morally dubious.

coexistentialist asked: What is perfectly legal but incredibly unethical?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

There's no right to a lawyer in civil court.

Tying up court cases for years because you can outspend the other party.


People really cannot imagine how hurtful this can be to people. Families. It can ruin lives.


Unfortunately, the people that do that king of thing do know. Theyre just assh*les.


People deserve privacy.

Tabloids posting picures taken by paparazzis who basically stalk people that are seen as famous.

Without the tabloids and websites, the photographers would never do that.


And the tabloids wouldn't exist if people didn't buy them.


And some celebrities wouldn't exist without the paparazzi and tabloids. It's all 9 shades of f*cked up.


This could be genius, except...

Knew someone who would buy peoples life insurance. He would find people who we're sick or old and give them 30% of what there insurance payout was and they would make him the sole benefactor. He would make the payments and then collect when they died. I wouldn't have had an issue with it but he would leave the families with the funeral bill.


Recently read a story (WSJ maybe?) about an investment group that, in the early/mid 1980's had bought up the policies of a ton of people who were HIV positive. Things went south for them when the first effective treatments for HIV were approved and became readily available. Apparently they're still paying on a number of these policies as the HIV positive individuals have decided they'd prefer to live rather than be a payout for a ghoulish hedge fund.


the HIV positive individuals have decided they'd prefer to live rather than be a payout for a ghoulish hedge fund.

How selfish of them.


This was in the news recently and it's appalling.

In Alabama, and other states i'm sure, the sheriff is alotted an amount of money to feed the prison population. If there is a surplus of money at the end, the sheriff can decide what to do with that money, including keep it all to himself. The current sheriff feeds the inmates the bare minimum legally allowed and keeps MILLIONS in profit for himself every year. Perfectly legal.


This is my state and I'm appalled.


This is always a douche move.

Cutting in the lunch line as a kid.


Jumping queues anywhere is not only unethical but it makes everyone know that you're a f*cking c*unt.


I accidentally cut a long ass line at Costco food court (I was overwhelmed with my little kids and didn't really look around I guess) . I walked by the food court and the guy wasn't helping anyone. So I ordered and he kinda threw his pen down and huffed, helped me and as I walked away with my food I realized what I I had done. This was 6 years ago and it still keeps me up at night.


You are immutably marked in someone's mind as a 'cutter.' Wear that brand with deep shame. For one day you might run into this mall food court man and he shall say to all around him, "Hey, look, it's that line cutter from the food court." And you will be judged accordingly.


As the government is shutdown.

The US Congress voting on it's own benefits.


Amazingly good answer to the OP's interesting question. I've always thought it must be nice to sign one's own paycheck. And approve raises. It's also nice to get paid when a quarter of federal employees are furloughed. Personally, I think everyone who can influence the budget process - Congress and the president at least - should go without pay until resolved. (And not simply deferred, but actually forfeit.)

Frankly, this is just the tip of the iceberg in legal-but-not-ethical behavior in the government.


In some countries if the government fails to pass a budget it triggers an election for everyone involved.


Excessive car towing.

Some of the reasons for towing cars. At our old apartment, my husband's car got towed for having an expired registration sticker (the registration was up-to-date, but he'd accidentally thrown out the sticker). The towing company drives through the apartment parking lot and tows cars that they can cite for breaking some little rule. They grab him as soon as his registration sticker is expired. Meanwhile, there were broken-down-looking cars that clearly hadn't moved from their parking spots for a long time. The lease says the towing company can do this, but it seems really shitty to do it on the basis of registration. That's a police issue, not an apartment/towing company issue. So you're making us pay YOU, the towing company, for an expired registration.


I had my truck towed while living in an apartment complex. I woke up that morning to find it gone. Before calling the police I called the office to ask as they were great at having vehicles towed for little to no reason. They told me they had a truck near my building towed because the registration was out of date and it had been sitting there unmoved for over a month. I asked them which company they had used as they had apparently taken mine by mistake. I call, they have my truck. They told me how much it was to get it back. I explained to them that they had the wrong truck because my registration was up to date. They argued with me and said it was towed I had to pay to get it back. I hung up and talked to a lawyer friend about my options. He suggested calling the police to report it stolen. I call the non emergency number and do that. They come to my place and I explained what happened. I even showed them the black (mine was blue) truck they should have taken. The officer takes me to the lot where my truck is and explained to them that I was filing charges against them and what would happen if they didn't give it back. The guy says I can have it back after I pay. The officer said to me go ahead and pay him so I can add the charges of selling stolen property onto the list. The guy goes pale and gets my keys for the bay it's parked in (it was in a place that looked like it was built as storage units). Tells me to take them and tells me where it is in the building. The best part is we had a major hail storm come through causing a ton of damage to cars in our parking lot including the truck they should have taken. Mine was safe because it was sitting inside. The next day the black truck was finally gone.

Edit for clarity. Thanks for pointing it out to me!


Free labor.

Firing an old employee who's about to retire and putting an intern who works for peanuts in his/her place.


Not always legal. Age discrimination laws exist for a reason.


But in America most places are at will so as long as you can provide a half baked reason for the firing the company wont have to pay.


And it can be as easy as writing them up a few times for the smallest things that usually go un-reported. Showing up 15 minutes late, making an inappropriate joke, not wearing proper attire. All you have to do is show some sort of evidence of multiple policy violations. Even if everyone in the office does it and doesn't get written up.


Blame the other person in there with you.

Farting in a crowded elevator.


This is one of the only listed "legal but unethical" things I can do this afternoon without having to become a licensed tow truck driver, police officer, or congress person.

Thank you for thinking of the simple things in life.


I remember a guy who told that every morning, before his boss arrives, would fart in his office.

One day he came and there was a cleaning company looking for a dead animal.


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