Do email disclaimers have any legal standing?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    39

    Do email disclaimers have any legal standing?

    Just wondering if any legal beagles can give an opinion on this.
    Here's the situation.

    1) A contact forwards an email to me from a company we are both customers of and are having ongoing issues with... as I wasn't in the recipient list he thought it would be relevant to me... hence forwarded it.

    2)The email's content is just some generic info useful to their customers, nothing confidential. There's no client privilege relationship involved.

    2) Probably a f**kup from the company, but other recipient's of the email (around 30) are visible in the email header (with email addresses)

    3) I'm thinking of emailing these other people to ask if they have the same issues with this company.

    Would I be open to legal action from this company?

    Their original email disclaimer includes...
    "You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any
    part of this message if you are not the intended recipient"

    Are these email disclaimers even legally enforceable?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Oooooops ignore me

    Last edited by justjoe86; 22-11-2012 at 08:00 PM.

  3. #3

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    Not knowing which law applies, I can't (and won't) give you a definitive answer, but in my opinion, email disclaimers aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

    Just to be safe, though, I wouldn't "directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of [the] message" contained in the body of the email. What did the disclaimer say about the email's header (that's the part of the email with the date and the addresses)? Nothing, perhaps?

    Last edited by Lootoo; 22-11-2012 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Square brackets

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    start a new email with no reference to the original email, content or subject, bcc all the people in the email list and contact them. Dont see anything wrong with that.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Just makes the sender (or his employer) seem more important. Some companies require all outgoing emails to have those disclaimers but I had heard from in-house counsel that the disclaimers do not offer much protection in the event that the company is being sued.


  6. #6

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    Personally, even though pretty much every company I deal with (including our own) has them, I don't think they are worth the computer screen they are typed on.


  7. #7

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    >> Just makes the sender (or his employer) seem more important.

    The principal of our son's previous school started putting confidentially clauses on things like the curriculum etc, because it was being discussed online in a not so nice way.


  8. #8

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    Abuse of power, much?