An Open Memo about Confidentiality

Confidentiality

There are a few things that I want my clients to know about confidentiality when they deal with my law firm. This post is an open memo collecting those thoughts in one place.

First, your attorney has an ethical obligation to keep your information confidential. That’s why I don’t sign many nondisclosure agreements. It’s not so much that I don’t want to be on the hook contractually for safeguarding information that is disclosed to me. Rather, my license to practice law–my very livelihood–is on the line. Most people feel like that is enough protection.

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Why I don’t Use Automatic Email Disclaimers

email disclaimer

It’s standard fare for law firm emails to have lengthy disclaimers at the end. It’s also standard for the disclaimers to be automatically inserted by the firm’s email system. And the disclaimers are inserted into ALL emails, whether or not they’re meaningful given the context of individual emails.

When I started Blue Maven Law a couple of years ago, I decided not to have disclaimers inserted automatically into my emails. Here’s why.

Automatic email disclaimers don’t really do anything

The main reason I don’t use automatic email disclaimers is that they’re ineffective. Most law firm disclaimers have one or more of these components: (1) a notice that the email is confidential; (2) a request for help with misdirected emails; (3) a warning that email isn’t a secure method of communication; and (4) a notice required by IRS Circular 230 that disclaims tax advice.

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