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Lawyer Ethics and Email

Total Credits: 1 including 1 Ethics

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Thomas E. Spahn
Original Program Date:
May 22, 2024
Never expires.


Email has become essential to law practice.  Communications with clients and colleagues is practically impossible – and absolutely inefficient – without email.  But the ubiquity of email may obscure many important ethical issues that arise when it is used in law practice, including issues related to confidentiality, metadata, and the attorney-client privilege. These and other substantial ethical questions will be discussed in this practical guide to the ethical issues when lawyers use email in their practices.


•    Beginning an attorney relationship via email – intentionally and inadvertently 
•    Security and confidentiality when email is exchanged in the Cloud
•    Inadvertently sent email and metadata embedded in email
•    Discarding/deleting email and working with outside vendors
•    Ex parte communications with represented adversaries
•    Attorney-client privilege issues



Thomas E. Spahn Related Seminars and Products

McGuireWoods, LLP

Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a substantial practice advising clients on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 30 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Spahn has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee.