If you think a confidentiality statement in your email counts as a precaution when you are sending confidential information, you are incompetent. We can argue about whether precautions are necessary in the first place, but there is no argument to be made that words constitute a precaution. Disclaimers (including confidentiality statements) are pointless.

Apparently 70.7% of lawyers responding to the ABA’s technology survey fall into that category.1 I’m just so discouraged by that. Even more discouraged than I was on discovering 70% of lawyers don’t think they use the cloud. Lawyers who don’t get this: you are not competent to represent clients.

Every lawyer should have a way to communicate securely. It doesn’t have to be encryption. I’m a fan of secure client portals, which many lawyers already have even if they aren’t using them.

  1. It looks like respondents could select multiple options, or another 26.4% think putting the confidentiality statement in the subject line makes a difference.