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E-Griping: Not on My Blog [By Casey Lyons] Everyone has bad days at work; with every job, there is some measure of discontent. (Why else would so many people be looking at job-placement websites?) Yet, often, such dissatisfaction can galvanize you by creating the motivation you need to propel your career upward.
The legal profession is a demanding, fast-
to attorneys, and it is not unprecedented
threaten privilege claims and result in grave
paced industry that approaches stress more
for electronic communications between
consequences. Personal blogs and social-
as a form of currency than as an occupational
client and attorney-including emails-to
networking websites are also popular these
hazard. As a result, perhaps more quickly
qualify as privileged information. In order
days, but posting too much information-or
than in other fields, stress can build up, and
to clearly dictate the privacy expectations
being careless in posts-can unintentionally
you have to find a channel through which
of electronic communiqués, many firms
damage a reputation, reveal confidential
to safely vent it. The question is “How (and
have crafted detailed procedures for
information, and spell trouble.
where, when, and to whom) is it safe to vent?”
protecting the confidentiality of all electronic communication.
Meeting a trusted friend for a happy-hour
Blogs written by lawyers and paralegals are abundant on the Internet, but most
drink and exchanging war stories is one
Maintaining the security of electronic
of them have one thing in common: they
matter-while no promises of confidentiality
communiqués can be a daunting task, as even
do not discuss the specifics of ongoing
are explicit here, it is safe to assume that
the most sophisticated equipment meets
cases. Some paralegals go so far as to post
your friend will not relate your woes to
constant challenge from tech-savvy hackers.
anonymously in order to keep their comments
others. (If he does, he’s no friend of yours!)
Furthermore, most companies have IT teams
from jeopardizing a current or future job.
To be similarly blunt and candid in email
that track and preserve all electronic data for
Despite the author’s intention, a blog can be
or the blogosphere is to enter a potentially
backup purposes. As a result, even long-since-
interpreted at the reader’s whim, and posts
dangerous gray area.
deleted emails are rarely eradicated without a
containing strong opinions can have equally
trace. Invasive as they seem, such measures
In recent decades, email and other forms
are intended to safeguard information in
of electronic communication have become
case of technological glitches and ensure
It is incumbent on paralegals to remain
pervasive, as they are quick and easy methods
productivity is not lost to Internet wandering.
vigilant and ensure they never-intentionally or
for keeping in constant touch with professional
accidentally-reveal sensitive information to a
contacts and friends. Many email platforms
On the other hand, attempting to evade
also archive messages, making organizing
company software by switching to a personal
correspondence almost irresistibly easy.
public-domain email account can put
Confidential information is frequently
messages at greater risk of exposure to
threatened when paralegals use email for
malicious programs, viruses, and worms.
work-related griping. Whether their emails
In its infancy, email resembled traditional written mail. Today, email has metamorphosed,
are about coworkers, cases, a person’s plans
taking on a loose and informal style, even in
Under certain circumstances, sensitive
to switch firms or move, or any other personal
terms of the subjects that are discussed and
information shared with a third party can
information of a sensitive nature, once these
dissected through the medium.
lose its privileged status, and this is what
juicy tidbits are discovered, the cat’s out of
paralegals ought to be most concerned about.
to a particular case or client is held in the
Even the smallest, most innocent lapse in
While the severity of the fallout will vary
same strict confidentiality that applies
judgment when composing an email can
according to the email’s subject matter,
If you are a paralegal, information pertaining
continued on back
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On the Net
consequences can range from personal
employees can be frank about emotional,
embarrassment to loss of a clientâ€™s trust to
personal, or professional stress originating from
a tarnished professional reputation. In the
particular clients or cases. Such gripe-fests are
The 25 Most Common Mistakes in Email
most extreme cases, it is not uncommon for
intended to allow professionals to work through
a breach of confidentiality to not only cost a
problems constructively and professionally.
paralegal his current job but also shut him out of the legal profession altogether. Truth be told, the same factors that make paralegal work stressful also make it too sensitive to talk about in specific detail, especially when it comes to money and reputations. So while paralegals will always face stress, the trick is to find a healthy way to deal with that stress. Thankfully, there are strategies that can help you get some relief. Some articles suggest introducing a five- to 10-minute period into staff meetings wherein
The list of people exposed or burned by past emails continues to grow, and in the legal field, where scrutiny and stress levels reach their peaks, these concerns are paramount. By far, the best solution to todayâ€™s electronic privacy concerns is to keep potentially sensitive information out of print-or keep it to yourself. Remember, even if you absolutely need to get something off your chest, someone else might be eavesdropping.
email-security-mistakes-022807 Role of Nonlawyers in Law Practice: Guidelines for Utilization of Legal Assistant www.michbar.org/opinions/ethics/utilization.cfm Solutions for Relieving Stress from the Workplace www.lawfirmstaff.com/articles/index. php?id=50071&cat=75
Published on Dec 29, 2012
A Lawyer Should Be Away Form E-Griping. The Attorneys Who Share Law Blogsphere Have To Be Very Careful About The Data Confidentiality. Blogs...