Subject: RE: FOR APPROVAL: OZPLB Licence - emails
From: Alvin Oga <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 15:49:08 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 27 Dec 2004, Lawrence Rosen wrote:

> I remember difficult debates in the legal profession when email began to
> become widely available for attorney communications. Many attorneys were
> concerned about expressing themselves to clients or fellow attorneys through
> email for fear that would create "disclosures" that could open up the
> communications for use as evidence. Ultimately the more technically savvy
> among us convinced the others (by reference to court cases that supported
> our opinions) that it was sufficient to (1) identify our email as
> confidential and (2) take reasonable steps, in light of readily available
> email technology, to notify any unintended recipient of the confidential
> nature of the communication. Then, at least if a subsequent disclosure was
> inadvertent, the communication could not be used as evidence. Otherwise our
> alternative was to forego email entirely and use far more cumbersome
> communications techniques.

one additional step, is to encrypt the email before sending ...

otherwise, anybody can read the email while it is in transit,
even/especially emails sent wirelessly 
	( lots of sniffers out there )

> Rather than educate each lawyer about what to mark and what not, law firms
> often require attorneys to append a confidentiality notice to every email.
> In some cases their system administrators implement software to append such
> notices automatically. That's the low tech solution to a legal problem. I've
> often wished for technology to catch up with what attorneys need. There's a
> button I can click in my email program when I send an email to mark it as
> "high priority"

in email .. there is not such thing as far as i know, similarly, no such
thing as "bulk email" ( other than the spammers tools to send to as
many people as possible with one click )

> or to request a "read receipt."

most email apps does not support "read" or "received" .. and even if
it was supported by the email apps ( MTAs ), most people do NOT have it
properly configured

> But there's no simple button
> to press to identify the email as confidential or to automate PGP
> encryption.

there's a few programs does use pgp encryption in windoze world 

> Until the technology companies can provide an easy solution (of
> the single-click variety)

send  vs "encrypted send"  would be ideal

there's also "secure webmail", similar to yahoo/hotmail ..
where anybody can send/receive encrypted emails to each other

> to email confidentiality, I'm afraid some law
> firms will continue to require that notice at the bottom of every email. For
> reasons associated with the law of evidence, they are wise to do so.

it'd be even better if the law firms require encrypted emails to be
sent amongst the firm, since thats something they can control

for communications to clients, they might not be able to control what
each client's admin will have implemented, which leaves minimal 
"confidentiality" available between client/attorneys
have fun