Archive: August 1, 2009

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Employee’s Communications Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege Despite Use of Work Computer

Employee’s Communications Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege Despite Use of Work Computer

Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., 973 A.2d 390 (N.J. Sup. Ct. 2009)

Reversing the trial court, the appellate court found that an employee’s communications with her attorney via her personal email account were privileged despite the use of her work computer to send those communications.  The trial court previously ruled that the communications were not privileged as a result of the employee’s use of her work computer, in light of her employer’s policy that, according to the trial court, “put plaintiff on sufficient notice that her emails would be viewed as company property.”  In reversing the trial court, the appellate court found that “the policies undergirding the attorney-client privilege substantially outweigh the employer’s interest in enforcement of its unilaterally imposed regulation.” 

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