Tip of the Month

Tip for January 2012

Preserve Confidential Client Information When Faxing

When faxing communications to your client, there is a risk of inadvertent disclosure to third persons. An error may be made when entering the number of the fax machine to which the document is to be sent. The receiving fax machine may be in an office space used by many persons who could see the faxed document before your client has a chance to retrieve it. If there is a significant risk of inadvertent disclosure, it is best to explain the risk to your client, including the risk that the attorney-client privilege may be lost. To reduce this risk, call the client immediately before sending the fax so that the client can be present at the receiving end when it arrives. It is also a good idea to ask your client to verify receipt of the document. When you fax confidential information, use a cover sheet identifying the material beneath it as confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege. Mark each page "confidential." The cover sheet should not contain any confidential information. Before sending the fax, double-check to make sure the fax number is the correct fax number for the recipient.