Under penalty of law – you may not read this post 11 7 17

……Let me be blunt: An e-mail disclaimer for the most part is an attempt to close the barn door after the horse has bolted. Its legal effectiveness, for the most part, is dubious. More often than not, when read literally, such declaimers are laughable. They drone on interminably in language most opaque and incomprehensible, and they seek to disclaim all responsibility for the content, to frighten by threatening dire legal consequences, and sometimes to prevent retransmission of the e-mail message. Below is a typical disclaimer:
This message is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Title 18, U.S. Code §2510-2521. This e-mail message and any attached files are the exclusive property of the Law Office of Dibble, Dabble and Doot and are subject to copyright. This communication is deemed privileged and confidential and is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.
First, the cited statute doesn’t cover the problem of misaddressed e-mails. The attached files may or may not be property of the law office. Because this disclaimer is added to every e-mail, it might be referring to a document prepared by someone else.
This communication is deemed privileged? By whom? Why? Under what authority? Deeming it doesn’t make it so. It’s intended only for the person to whom addressed? How does this deal with a misaddressed e-mail? (For a nice list of stupid disclaimers, see http://dltj.org/article/pointless-e-mail-disclaimers and also www.goldmark.org/jeff/stupid-disclaimers.)
If their effectiveness is the question, why do we use disclaimers? One reason is concern over loss of attorney-client privilege. Putting an e-mail disclaimer at the end of every message that says “this e-mail message may contain privileged or confidential information. No privilege is waived by the sending of this message” is a questionable way of dealing with this concern. Putting a disclaimer on all of your e-mails is not a substitute for taking appropriate care. And remember who has the sole right to waive attorney-client privilege…..
…. This article is intended solely for readers of GPSolo magazine. If you’re not such a reader, please do not read this article. This article may contain information of a privileged or confidential nature. If it does, please forget it. The author is not responsible for the accuracy or truth of the information contained herein. Indeed, it may truly be said that the author is not responsible. No animals have been harmed in the preparation of this article. However, several trees have died during the research phase. It is not the intention of the author to render tax advice in this article, and indeed, but for this disclaimer, taxes have never been mentioned. Eat your vegetables.
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