Tip of the Month

Tip for April 2013

Preserving the confidential nature of electronic communications with clients

The use of mobile phones, fax machines, web sites, email, blogs and Internet chat rooms involves a risk of inadvertent disclosure or interception of confidential communications with clients and co-counsel. Before using a risky form of communnication, inform the client at the outset of the engagement of the risk of breaches of confidentiality by the use of these modes of communication. Obtain the client's consent to the use of such modes of communication and the circumstances under which they will be permitted. For example, the client may not want the lawyer to send a document by fax machine unless the client is at the machine to receive it because other persons in the office have access to the same fax machine. Confirm the client's direction in writing.