Friday, April 2, 2010

Using a company computer to send personal e-mail to a lawyer does not affect attorney/client privilege

The New Jersey Supreme Court has decided, in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. (available here), that an employee "could reasonably expect that e-mail communications with her lawyer through her personal, password-protected, web-based e-mail account would remain private, and that sending and receiving them using a company laptop did not eliminate the attorney-client privilege that protected them." For this reason, the employer's counsel violated Rule 4.4(b) by reading the e-mails and failing to promptly notify the employee. The case was remanded to decide whether disqualification, screening, or imposition of other some other remedy should be imposed for the ethical violation.

Thanks to the Legal Profession blog for the information.

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