On January 13, 2011, in Holmes v. Petrovich Development Company, LLC, a California Court of Appeal ruled that emails sent by an employee to her attorney from a company computer were not privileged. 

Read our Seyfarth Shaw Labor & Employment Department’s alert here.   This should be of particular interest in all employee-related cases, including trade secrets and non-compete cases.  As the alert notes:

This case reminds employers of the importance of having a strongly worded and clearly written policy on employee use of employer-provided technology such as computers, email systems and voice mail systems for personal reasons. These policies also should specify that employees have no expectation of privacy in their non-work communications and that all employer-provided technology is subject to monitoring, even if it is password-protected.

Having clear technology policies are also particularly important to protecting trade secrets and other confidential information.