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Monday
Feb242014

Hey, what happened to the attorney-client privilege?

In this new age of social media, attorneys have to be especially careful about protecting their communications with their clients.  I try to avoid having important or confidential communications through e-mail.  I even worry about taking my computer out of the country, knowing my e-mails and documents could be reviewed by the United States government and maybe even another government.

Was I surprised to learn that a new report leaked by Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency monitored communications between the Indonesian government and a U.S. Law firm that was representing that government in trade disputes with the United States?  This monitoring apparently included spying on these discussions by NSA’s Australian counterpart agency.  Is this about national security?  Doesn’t seem so.  Or perhaps it is more about economic gain for the United States?  If so, then shame on the U.S. Government. 

Maybe my cases don’t involve high level trade disputes between governments, although I have been involved in lawsuits against local governments and the United States.  How would I like to know that those communications were reviewed by the NSA?  And what can I do in the future to protect my confidential discussions with my clients.  It sound like the days of meeting clients in empty parking lots or along the river front are back.