A reader wondered about communicating with her lawyer from work. In particular, she wondered if such communications are confidential or privileged.
Generally, communications between a client and her
lawyer are subject to solicitor-client privilege, and may not be
revealed in court.
However, if the client contacts her lawyer from
work, and in particular uses her work smartphone, work computer or her
employer's Internet connection, her employer may have access to her
communications with her lawyer. This applies even if the client uses
her work computer but uses her own web-based email (like Gmail or
Hotmail) to send and receive emails with her lawyer.
because most employers have an information technology policy which
allows the employer to have access to all data stored on an employee's
work computer, as well as access to all data transfers in and out of an
employee's work computer. There is likely a similar policy with respect
to smartphones issued by the employer as well.
If an employee
absolutely needs to contact a lawyer while at work, I recommend that the
employee use their own personal email
account on their personal smartphone to do so.
remember to make sure the personal smartphone is using your cellular
provider's network, and not the employer's wifi network.