Attorney-client privilege: It does apply when e-mailing from work — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Attorney-client privilege: It does apply when e-mailing from work

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The rise of electronic communication has forced employers and courts to take a fresh look at many issues that used to be considered routine. The age-old concept of attorney-client privilege is the latest one to whipsaw through the courts.

In May 2009, we brought you “Check your policy! No privilege when e-mailing lawyer from work,” which discussed the impact of the trial court decision in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency (Docket No. BER-L-858-08, N.J. Super., Law Div., 2009).

The lower court in Stengart held that e-mails between a former employee and her attorney were not protected by the attorney-client privilege because they were prepared and stored on the company’s computer system.

An appellate court has now reversed that decision, and ruled that the attorney-client privilege outweighs an employer’s property interest in the information contained on the company’s computer and e-mail system.

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