Communicating with a client via email can be very useful. It enables the fast and documented transmission of updates or matters in the case. For the family lawyer, it can be helpful for quickly resolving time sensitive issues that arise between the parties, often in the form of a custody dispute. Electronic documents can be sent back and forth between client and attorney with comments and changes. The examples are endless.
However, often times the email address a client provides an attorney with is the email address provided by the client’s employer. The major issue is will a client lose attorney-client privilege if the client communicates with the attorney using an e-mail address provided by their employer. Many employers have the ability to view these e-mails whether the employee is aware of it or not.
The following articles provide insightful analysis on the issue of attorney-client privilege in the workplace:
1. Email and Attorney Client Privilege: Cautionary Tales for Employer and Employee, By Clare Pastore, Professor of the Practice of Law, USC Gould School of Law.
2. Sorting Out Attorney-Client Privilege with workplace emails, By Wayne Moskowitz.
3. The State of the Attorney-Client privilege in the workplace, By Victoria Taylor, Bingham McCutchem. Published by the American Bar Association.