Presentation on theme: "Disclaimers in e mails. E Mail Disclaimers After several high profile lawsuits with multimillion dollar penalties concerning the contents of the corporate."— Presentation transcript:
Disclaimers in e mails
E Mail Disclaimers After several high profile lawsuits with multimillion dollar penalties concerning the contents of the corporate mails, companies are increasingly aware of exposing themselves to legal threats. E mail disclaimers are statements that are either prepended or appended to e mails. They are usually of legal character. If you are so unlucky to be sued for the contents of an e mail, it is not certain that the disclaimer will protect you from the liability. None the less it helps and might deter most persons from seeking legal compensation. Apart from legal disclaimers, companies can use other tools to protect themselves against the legal implications of e mail. The reasons for disclaimers can be categorized into two groups: Legal and Marketing
Legal Reasons for Disclaimers There are six legal threats that disclaimers can help protect against. They are: 1.Breach of confidentiality (protect against divulgence of confidential information of your company) 2.Accidental breach of confidentiality (misdirected e mail) 3.Transmission of viruses (disclaimer may contain warning about the viruses) 4.Entering into contract (clearly specify the designation of the person duly authorized to do so) 5.Negligent misstatement ( by law a person is obliged to take care when giving advice to a third party relies on) 6.Employers liability (company is ultimately responsible for the actions of the employees, disclaimer can reduce this liability
Marketing Reasons for Disclaimers Apart from legal reasons, a footnote or signature can also be added to serve marketing purposes. Add marketing information Disclaimers can be used to add a company address, URL and or / slogan. In some countries companies are required to state the companys particulars on any written communication Convey professional image: By adding disclaimers to e mails the company conveys a professional, trustworthy image. Apart from any possible adversaries from suing, it will convey awareness and professionalism to your cistomers.
There is, however, no disclaimer that can protect against actual libelous or defamatory content. The most the disclaimer can accomplish is to reduce the responsibility of the company, since it can prove that the company has acted responsibly and done everything in its power to stop employees from committing these offences
Disadvantages of using disclaimers Some e mails contain long list of disclaimers and since disclaimers are added to every sent e mail even it already contains a disclaimer. This can sometimes end up being quite a long list. The best thing is is to try and keep the disclaimers as short as possible, and distinguish them from the main text. This can be done by adding a line of ***** at the top and bottom of the disclaimer from the rest of the text or by adding it in different format, text color or font size. Alternatively use a disclaimer program that can detect the existence of a previous disclaimer and suppress adding another one.
What the Experts say? If you are in any doubt as to whether you should include a notice, then you should include one., Jonathan Whelan The disclaimers added to the end of e mails are not legally binding, but it is always good practice to try and disclaim liability. Michael Chissick, Head of Internet Law at Field Fisher Waterhouse, E mails should be prefaced in such a way as to incorporate the employers standard terms and conditions Robin Bynoe, Charles Russell Solicitors Defamation, unintended contact formation, misdirected s all bring into focus the desirability of e mail disclaimers. Simon Halberstam, Head of E commerce Law, Spencer Grier Halberstam, Solicitors