North Carolina State Bar Proposes New Formal Ethics Opinion

North Carolina State Bar Proposes New Formal Ethics Opinion

The intersection of technology and the rules of ethics continues to develop. The NC State Bar has proposed a new FEO (2012 Formal Ethics Opinion 5), which deals with the interesting question of the attorney-client privilege of an employee's emails to her personal lawyer that are on her employer's email system.

If Your Client Is The Employee

The Opinion contains a caution: If you are a lawyer representing an employee in any matter, whether related to her employment or not, you probably shouldn't communicate with her at her office email address. The opinion recommends that the lawyer "explore with the client alternative methods of communicating including use of the employee's personal email system, telephone, and texting. "

If Your Client Is The Employer

If you are a lawyer representing the company, can you access the employee's emails with her lawyer on the corporate system? Only if you can conclude "confidently" and "in good faith" that any privilege has been waived.

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Read this article in its entirety on North Carolina Business Litigation Report, a blog for lawyers focusing on issues of North Carolina business law and the day-to-day practice of business litigation in North Carolina courts.

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