Is Confidentiality Lost in Email? By Herrick K. Lidstone, Jr.

Attorney–Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine Is Confidentiality Lost in Email?

ByHERRICK K. LIDSTONE, JR. Electronic mail communications are a fact of life. There is no getting around this benefit and burden. Yet the careless use of email devices and networks by both attorneys and clients risks the loss of confidentiality and other privileges. This is especially true when clients communicate with their lawyers using their employer-established email accounts on office computers or email their lawyers from computers they share with others, including family members. Issues can also arise when clients store personal emails and information on a business or shared laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Carelessness includes using inadequate passwords that are seldom, if ever, changed. These actions risk the loss of confidentiality and any attendant privilege that may be claimed for the electronic communications.

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