07 December 2018
Privacy, confidentiality and disclosure
My clients are the executors of their brother's estate. By mistake an email was directed to the deceased’s email address. His friend who has a right to live in the house forwarded it to her lawyer.
Can her lawyer make use of this information?
Thank you for the question.
Rule 31 of the Australian Solicitors' Conduct Rules deals with the duty of a solicitor to return material that is known or reasonably suspected to be confidential where a solicitor is aware that its disclosure was inadvertent. It prohibits the use of such material and requires the recipient to notify the sender of the disclosure and return the material.
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