from the Executive Legal Professionals Newsletter Issue 13
Observe the Common Email Disclaimer in its natural habitat:
“This message and any attached documents contain information which may be confidential, subject to privilege or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. These materials are intended only for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, you are hereby notified that any distribution, disclosure, printing, copying, storage, modification or the taking of any action in reliance upon this transmission is strictly prohibited. Delivery of this message to any person other than the intended recipient shall not compromise or waive such confidentiality, privilege or exemption from disclosure as to this communication. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete the message from your system.”
What’s that worth, in terms of protection? The short answer: probably not much.
“There is no legal doctrine or theory under which an email confidentiality disclaimer is enforceable
If you are trying to deter an unintended recipient from misusing information obtained in an email they were never supposed to have received, an email disclaimer is probably not going to be effective for that purpose. So, it might not be best to even worry about using one at all. The only reason an email disclaimer might be useful to you is if your email is unsecure, and you’re worried about intercepted emails, and how the information obtained from them might be misused.
Finally, when in doubt, consult an attorney. There may be better ways (than an email disclaimer) to protect yourself from misuse of illegally or unintentionally obtained information transmitted via email. Your attorney (and probably an IT professional) can give you some sound advice about how to protect yourself and your business.
- Hutchins, J. (2013, February 23). Do Email Disclaimers Really Work? Retrieved May 29, 2015, from http://bit.ly/1GKqHiF
- Also, the email disclaimer in the featured image for this post was written by James Sinclair, and borrowed from this page.
This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any e-zine, newsletter, blog or website. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction. View general information about this license; or view detailed legal information about this license.