Ethics and Email

Tuesday June 19, 2018

Law practice is virtually inseparable from email.  Clients and courts not only use it but expect lawyers to use it for communications. Without email, communications would be slow and costly.  Though email is now pervasive in law practice, its use comes with a host of substantial ethical issues.  How is email used to intentionally, or worse, inadvertently create an attorney-client relationship?  How do all e-mail communications impact the attorney-client privilege?  What about email conversations with a represented adversary?  How can confidentiality and other ethical duties be satisfied when law firms almost always work with outside vendors to provide email?  These and other substantial ethical questions will be discussed in this practical guide to the ethical issues when lawyers use email in their practices.

Handout Materials Will be Emailed to You Prior to the Seminar

Starts 12:00 p.m.
1.0, including 1 hour of ethics MCLE Credit Hours


·         Multifaceted ethics issues when lawyers use email

·         Beginning an attorney relationship via email – intentionally and inadvertently

·         Law firm web sites attempting to disclaim attorney-client relationships

·         Effect on attorney-client privilege when using a vendor for email

·         Ex parte communications with represented adversaries

·         Corporate counsel issues – in-house creation of documents, legal v. business advice

·         Inadvertently sent email and metadata embedded in email

·         Discarding/deleting email and working with outside vendors


Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods, LLP – McLean, Virginia