Posted on Fri 17 April 2020

email disclaimers: even when they improve, they fail

Email disclaimers are stupid and they make your company look stupid.

The only email disclaimer that seems to have any legal effect whatsoever is when a lawyer says “This email does not create a client confidentiality relationship.” All others are completely bogus. The lawyer one is almost bogus, since it is a reminder that should not be needed – but apparently a lot of people get confused easily. Law is like that.

A common feature of bogus disclaimers is that they tell the reader that if they aren’t the proper recipient, they should stop reading immediately. You know, at the end of the email. Very clever.

I found a dubious improvement today: a company sent me an email with a disclaimer that was referenced via a URL. So: you get to the bottom of the email, find a link to a disclaimer, and then click on it to go retrieve it and read it. The punchline: “you are prohibited from reading this email”.

Great work, people. Your mission is done.

Since you have read this far, I would like to point out that you, my reader, are now bound by an agreement. You can find the details here.

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