Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The New Jersey Supreme Court held today that an employee "could reasonably expect that e-mail communications with her lawyer through her personal, password-protected, web-based e-mail account would remain private, and that sending and receiving them using a company laptop did not eliminate the attorney-client privilege that protected them." The employer's counsel violated Rule 4.4(b) by reading the e-mails and failing to promptly notify the employee. The court noted that no reported New Jersey decision offered direct guidance on the issue.
The case was remanded to decide whether disqualification, screening, or imposition of other some other remedy should be imposed for the ethical violation. (Mike Frisch)