Email Disclaimers

“This email and the documents accompanying this email contain information which may be confidential or privileged and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.” Many get emails with disclaimers and warnings that begin like this. When you see this kind of notice at the bottom of an email, what should you do? I think in most cases, you can safely ignore such disclaimers and warnings, and just use common sense.

Such warnings and disclaimers usually continue with text like this: “The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named on this transmission. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this information is without authorization and is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately.”

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment broker, not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer Email1and1. Emails sent to you that have disclaimers and warnings are not contracts, because contracts are not unilateral. Both sides must agree to the terms of contracts, and usually consideration must be specified for both sides. When someone (only) sends you an email, that does not usually obligate you, except to perhaps admit you received the email.

Such email warnings and disclaimers usually mean one of two things. First, if you received the email accidentally, they want you to delete it; which is what most people would do anyway. The other meaning is, do not share this email with other people. Usually, you would not want to share it anyway.

If someone sends you an email with a warning not to copy their email, does that prevent you from later writing something that overlaps in the same topic area? Often not, if someone emails you that the sky is blue, nothing stops you from later writing or emailing someone about the color of the sky. If you forward an email that causes direct harm to someone, there might be problems, whether there was an email warning or not. You should not post or forward someone else’s emails without careful consideration. Whether you do or not, should depend more on common sense, than on boilerplate legalese.

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