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Privilege

Federal Privacy Commissioner launches handbook to help lawyers apply PIPEDA to their practices

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Federal Privacy Commissioner has launched on online handbook - PIPEDA and Your Practice - A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers - to help lawyers apply the federal private sector privacy legislation to their practices.

"Written by lawyers for lawyers, PIPEDA and Your Practice - A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers describes best practices in managing the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, responding to requests for access to personal information, and the potential application of PIPEDA. The Handbook covers practical privacy issues that arise in the course of managing a law firm and conducting litigation," stated the Commissioner's office in its August 16, 2011 news release announcing the handbook.

Litigators will likely find the "Privacy Issues in Civil Litigation" section to be of significant value.

"Employee's E-mail to Attorney Not Privileged Where Sent by Employer's Computer, California Court Rules"

Jurisdiction: - United States

Jackson Lewis, a labour and employment firm with offices in almost every US state, has published a case summary entitled, "Employee's E-mail to Attorney Not Privileged Where Sent by Employer's Computer, California Court Rules"

Ths summary covers the California Court of Appeal's decision in Holmes v. Petrovich Development Co., LLC, No. C059133 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 13, 2011).

Supervisor's defamatory appraisal of dismissed employee protected by qualified privilege

In Dawydiuk v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2010 BCCA 353, the BC Court of Appeal addressed whether the contents of an email written by a dismissed employee's supervisor were defamatory and , if so, whether they were  protected by the defence of qualified privilege.

Background 

Ms. Dawydiuk began her employment with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia ("ICBC") in 1988 as a clerk. At the time of her dismissal in 2004, she was 38 years-old and in a managerial position.

Ms. Dawydiuk had been off work since June 2003, first on a sick leave and then on a maternity/parental leave.  She was scheduled to return to work on October 4, 2004.

On July 5, 2004, while still on leave, Ms.Dawydiuk was phoned by her supervisor and advised of a restructuring that had resulted in her position being eliminated. Her supervisor advised her of two other available managerial positions, however, and asked her to let him know which one she would like.  read more »