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E-mail disclaimers aren’t always what they seem (access required)

E-mail disclaimers do not always work. If your legal department uses a confidential or attorney-client privilege disclaimer on every e-mail, you run the risk of actually waiving those specific claims. When facsimile transmissions were first used in the early 1980s, lawyers concluded they needed protection for the inadvertent fax sent to opposing counsel, rather than their ...

One comment

  1. Thank you for the well reasoned article. As a solo attorney, I have the luxury of not commuincating with my coworkers by email or relying on a legal assistant to get emails out and routed incorrectly. I don’t have to worry about sending confidential information by email and thus, I do not use any disclaimer language at the end of them. I often get annoyed that other attorneys seem to include disclaimers in every email — even for lunch dates. Additionally, I have to suspect the thinking of placing the language at the end of an email when I have already likely read enough to make the decision that the information is confidential. Even if the information itself is never allowed into evidence, that knowledge alone can be helpful. This language is akin to placing more safety equipment on automobiles and not training drivers to be better and more focused. It functions as a crutch that one could rely on and then become complacent with its’ use — substituting automation with reasoned and sound judgement.

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