Archive: December 1, 2009

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Communications with Attorney Using Company Computer and Email Account Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege

Communications with Attorney Using Company Computer and Email Account Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege

Alamar Ranch, LLC v. City of Boise, 2009 WL 3669741 (D. Idaho Nov. 2, 2009)

In this case arising from a land use and permitting dispute, the court ruled that emails sent by a non-party to her attorney using her work computer and work-assigned email address were not protected by the attorney-client privilege.  In so holding, the court relied in large part upon the existence of company policy which put the employee on notice that her emails were subject to monitoring and were not confidential.  Emails sent by the attorney to the employee’s work account were likewise unprotected where the attorney was on notice of the employee’s use of company email and should have recognized the risk that such emails were unprotected.  As for emails sent to the attorney by other clients and copied to the employee, the court reasoned that such emails retained their privileged status where the senders (non-employees of the relevant company) were not on notice of the potential exposure of their emails to outside scrutiny.

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