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Product ID: 403569EAU
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Government Email: Public or Private Record?

OnDemand Webinar (90 minutes)

Learn concrete, proactive steps government officials may take to stay ahead of the various problems private email can create.The explosion of information held by government agencies presents unique and growing challenges to those that must administer the public's access to government records. Questions persist about the scope of the government's duties in maintaining and producing electronically stored information. Particularly thorny questions arise in the area of personal email accounts. May government officials use their private accounts to communicate about government business? What circumstances will cause an email to cross the line between public and private? What duties does the government have to protect the privacy of email sender? What duties do government officers have to preserve emails and what are the consequences of deleting emails? This topic will analyze these and other problems posed when government officials use private email. It will provide case studies demonstrating the risks of private email and illustrating when otherwise private communications cross the line and become public records that must be publicly disclosed.


Mark J. Crandley, Barnes & Thornburg LLP


Source and Nature of Disclosure Duties

• Federal Laws

• State Laws

• Local Ordinances and Policies

• Legislative Trends

When Private Emails Become Public

• When Public Officials May Use Private Email

• Limitations on Use of Public Emails

• Case Studies

• Key Circumstances Where Emails Will Likely Be Deemed Public

• Maintaining Privacy and Ethical Issues Related to Privacy

Perils of Other Forms of Electronic Messaging

Retention Issues

• Regulating Retention of Email

• Ensuring Compliance

• Documenting Compliance

Steps for Avoiding Conflict and Litigation

• Communication With Key Employees

• Email Usage Policies