Emails and Confidentiality Notices, NARCA Newsletter
BY JAY WINSTON, WINSTON & WINSTON, P.C.
Today, communicating through email is becoming as common place as using the telephone or fax machine. Not only can messages be sent, but documents such as affidavits for execution, and scanned contracts are regularly transmitted by email. To my surprise, many clients and law firms fail to enclose a Confidentiality Notice to address the situation of an email sent to the wrong party. Although it is commonplace to have a notice hard-coded into your fax cover page, the same can not be said for email. Both Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook provide for an option to hard-code this notice into your emails in the auto-signature section. I have set out a sample notice below. Length and content is always subject to interpretation.
ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT
This communication is for its intended recipient only, and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. This communication constitutes an electronic communication within the meaning of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510, and its disclosure is strictly limited to the recipient intended by the sender of the message. This communication may contain confidential information and privileged material that is for the sole use of the intended recipient and receipt by anyone other than the intended recipient does not constitute a loss of the confidential or privileged nature of the communication. If you are not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering this communication to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized use, dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited and may subject you to criminal or civil penalty. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by telephone (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or e-mail reply, and delete the message from your system, and destroy any hard copy you may have printed. Thank you.
The content of this column is not a substitution for consultation with counsel, nor is it intended for use as a specific response to a specific set of circumstances. Question concerning this column may be addressed to Jay Winston at 212-532-2700
Copyright © 2003, 2004 Winston & Winston P.C. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 18, 2004