Ethics and Email



  • Available Until 6/19/2021
  • Next Class Time 1:00 PM ET
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download

Course Price: $79.00


Untitled Document

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.

  • 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

Speaker: Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee.  He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.