Do you need to have a disclosure at the end of your emails? Most people don’t. However, certain professions (like lawyers) may help protect themselves by having an email disclosure.

Email disclosures don’t have to be long and filled with a lot of legalese. However, sometimes lawyers may prefer that to make them sound more sophisticated or professional. Others may borrow a complex email disclaimer from another thinking that the legalese is necessary to preserve some rights.

Still, email disclosures should have some important messages, which could help if the email is evidence in a lawsuit later.

I recently revised our email disclosure in an attempt to make it shorter and simpler while still keeping all the legally required elements. This disclosure now appears at the end of every one of our emails:

NOTICES: This message, including attachments, is confidential and may contain information protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. If you are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message are prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately. Any tax advice contained in this message is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the internal revenue code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to others any tax-related matter(s) addressed here.

Here are samples of other email disclosures in the footers of emails I have seen used by lawyers:

TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE CIRCULAR 230, WE INFORM YOU THAT ANY U.S. FEDERAL TAX ADVICE CONTAINED IN THIS COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING ALL ATTACHMENTS, IS NOT INTENDED OR WRITTEN TO BE USED, AND CANNOT BE USED, FOR THE PURPOSE OF (1) AVOIDING PENALTIES UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OR (2) PROMOTING, MARKETING OR RECOMMENDING TO ANOTHER PARTY ANY TAX-RELATED MATTER(S) ADDRESSED HEREIN.
Confidentiality Note: This transmission may contain information which is privileged, confidential, and protected by the attorney-client or attorney work product privileges. If you are not the addressee, note that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately at TwinCitiesFirm.com.

Another:

CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION
E-mails from this firm normally contain confidential and privileged material, and are for the sole use of the intended recipient. Use or distribution by an unintended recipient is prohibited, and may be a violation of law. If you believe that you received this e-mail in error, please do not read this e-mail or any attached items.  Please delete the e-mail and all attachments, including any copies thereof, and inform the sender that you have deleted  the e-mail, all attachments and any copies thereof. Thank you.

Another:

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This transmission may contain information which is privileged, confidential, and protected by the attorney-client or attorney work product privileges. If you are not the addressee, note that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately at TwinCitiesFirm.com.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Service Circular 230 requirements, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication, including all attachments, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the internal revenue code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matter(s) addressed herein.

Another:

NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY: This email, and any attachments thereto, is intended for use only by the addressee(s) named herein and may contain confidential information, legally privileged information and attorney-client work product. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email, and any attachments thereto, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by email, telephone or fax, and permanently delete the original and any of any email and printout thereof. Thank you.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: In compliance with IRS requirements, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for (a) the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

Another:

**This is a transmission from the law firm of [firm name] and may contain information which is privileged, confidential, and protected by the attorney-client or attorney work product privileges. If you are not the addressee, note that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please destroy it and notify us immediately at our telephone number (###) ###-####.**

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