You unfortunately find yourself involved as a party to a lawsuit. At your initial consultation with your attorney, he or she explains how important it is for you to make full and frank disclosures, but not to worry — all of the communications between the two of you are protected from disclosure due to the attorney-client privilege. Of course, being 2016, most of your communication is by email. You and your attorney need to be very careful that communications about your lawsuit may not be privileged if done on your employer’s computer system. A recent federal court case from the Middle District of Florida, Bingham v. Baycare Health System, 2016 WL 3917513 (M.D. Fla. July 20, 2016), highlights the problems that may arise if individuals and their attorneys are not careful in this regard.
In Bingham, the defendant served a subpoena upon the plaintiff’s employer, seeking documents related to the allegations in the lawsuit. The employer was a third party, and had no connection to the case other than being the employer of the plaintiff. The attorney had sent emails to the plaintiff that contained links to documents kept at a cloud storage account. The plaintiff had forwarded certain of these emails to his work so that he could access the links from his work account. The defendant argued that emails from the plaintiff’s work email account were not confidential and therefore not covered by the attorney-client privilege.
The Bingham court recognized that “