Legal Blog

What’s Really Confidential in Business?

In the modern wireless world, businesses are always connected. Whether it be email, web conferences, or phone calls, employers and employees can connect 24 hours a day. With such a connected world, the question becomes – what is actually confidential? Moreover, when a lawsuit is filed, what communications are potentially subject to disclosure?

Follow these tips to ensure that your confidences are maintained:

1. Do not email anything that you would not like to see on the front of a newspaper. When a lawsuit strikes, most emails are subject to disclosure in discovery. There are exceptions for communications with attorneys (this protection is not infinite) as well as other limited circumstances. Leaning against putting potentially offensive or crass opinions regarding other employees or competitors in writing is a wise choice.

2. Do not use internal “chat” functions to discuss confidential matters. Many businesses have adopted platforms with chatroom options such as Skype for Business to streamline their communication platforms. All of these platforms catalog and archive communications/chats. When a lawsuit is initiated, these communications may likely be fair game for production to the other side.

3. Employ a company-wide policy regarding internet use. This policy should set out clear guidelines for what can (and cannot) be done on company equipment so that there is a clear understanding of the ramifications for abuse on all platforms. Consult with a professional, such as an employment law attorney, to ensure that your policy addresses potential legal pitfalls.

4. Conduct trainings with specific scenarios. Many policies are forgotten without reminders and real-life examples. Invest in comprehensive trainings so that issues do not arise in the long term.



Questions on your company’s internet policy?
Contact Theodora Stringham at or 703-745-1849.



Theodora Stringham assists individuals, businesses, and organizations with growing successfully while minimizing liability. Focusing on real estate and personnel needs, Ms. Stringham executes sustainable plans for real estate development and employee matters. She provides comprehensive representation for everyday growth issues, including, but not limited to, re-zonings, site plan approvals, eminent domain/valuation concerns, employment discrimination, and disciplinary issues. Ms. Stringham’s scope of representation ranges from identifying potential liability and providing counseling/trainings, all the way through representation at trial.






Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 170 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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