The longest email disclaimer?

I think this is what happens when you just keep adding things over time. This person has obviously not read Eric’s post on the subject of email confidentiality disclaimers. I do not think this person has the slightest chance of preserving any rights or privilege as a result of this monstrosity.

While this is obscenely long, I am sure there are worse. Feel free to clog the comments with the longest lawyer email disclaimers you can find.

Click on for the full shebang.

Please do not send confidential, proprietary, or otherwise sensitive information via e-mail. E-mail is not a secure form of communication and may not be protected by the attorney client privilege. Communication via e-mail does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any information in any e-mail message from me or my office is intended for general informational purposes and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon, as legal advice. No information in an e-mail is a substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney.

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521 and is legally privileged. This communication may also contain material protected and governed by the Health insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This e-mail is only for the personal and confidential use of the individuals to which it is addressed and contains confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that you have received this document in error, and that any reading, distributing, copying or disclosure is unauthorized.

If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by the telephone number above and destroy the message.

Circular 230 Notice: Pursuant to recently-enacted U.S. Treasury Department regulations, we are now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

Please don’t print this E-mail unless you really need to.


  1. Aaron Street Aaron S. says:

    Wow, and I thought the standard big firm one paragraph disclaimers were a waste.

  2. Avatar Dan says:

    Why is he/she invoking ECPA in their disclaimer? ECPA applies no matter whether there is a disclaimer or not.I don’t think a little disclaimer is going to do anything when ECPA itself requires a search warrant to legally use those emails anyway.

  3. Avatar Kenneth Hoffman says:

    Unfortunately, the Circular 230 Disclaimer is required if you are discussing tax matters.

  4. That’s exactly the point — a disclaimer may be required if one is giving tax advice, but not for scheduling meetings, communicating about non-tax matters, making dinner plans, etc. Overuse of disclaimers undermines their effectiveness.

    BTW, I’ve been unsuccessful trying to find an IRS reg or case authority that requires the Circular 230 disclaimers on all e-mails related to tax advice or found liability based on the absence of the disclaimer. An ABA GP Solo article from May 2007 (“Circular 230 — How It Changed Our Lives. . . “) discussed the differences of opinion on whether e-mail disclaimers were required or useful. . I would appreciate forwards of any more recent analyses.

  5. Avatar Edward Still says:

    Reading that disclaimer is like watching the latest Macintosh ad where every time the PC says something, another paragraph of disclaimer scrolls onto the screen.

  6. Avatar Lewis Kinard says:

    OK, so who has seen the SHORTEST–legally effective–email disclaimer ever?

  7. Sam Glover Sam G. says:

    I don’t think it is about short vs. long. It is about appropriate for the particular email. I mean, I bet you can shrink that Circular 230 notice if you felt like you really needed to give it, but the point is, you don’t need to give it if you aren’t giving tax advice.

    Similarly, you don’t need to include an attorney-client privilege notice unless you are writing to a client.

    Based on Eric’s previous post, here is what I do: (1) All disclaimers go above the email content; and (2) I use Gmail’s “canned response” feature to store my attorney-client disclaimer, and use it only when I really need it.

    For example, I don’t use the attorney-client disclaimer to schedule a meeting with my client. But I do use it when emailing my client about settlement discussions.

  8. I have a keyboard shortcut for ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION, which I place at the beginning of the message. This is the equivalent of what goes on most traditional correspondence, would allow the e-mail to be presumptively excluded from disclosure in discovery, and in the event of mis-direction, puts the recipient on notice that the e-mail is between an attorney and client. An inadvertent recipient who was an attorney would have a duty in most jurisdictions to notify me that they had received the e-mail in error (Rule 4.4(b)); non-attorneys probably have no legal duty of notification regardless of how long the disclaimer is. Also, theoretically puts my client on notice that the e-mail concerns legal advice.

    I have yet to come across any cases that have said an e-mail was not privileged because it did not have a sufficiently detailed disclaimer. Courts evaluating claims of AC privilege tend to look at the contents of documents and the identity of the parties to the communications rather than the extent of the labeling.

  9. I don’t use them. I wonder why a disclaimer needs to be on an email? Are they on hard copy letter? I don’t think so. It seems that disclaimers are on emails becuase some lawyers equate them with a FAX transmission, commonly to a shared FAX machine. (I look forward to the end of FAX machines!) But emails are not normally sent to a shared email account – just the contrary. True, emails are not secure unless encrypted, but if intercepted would that not normally require some intent to do so by the intercepting party? To what purpose, then, is a disclaimer on an email? Just to make lawyers look bad?

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