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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4828
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I work in a small law firm. A few monts ago, our firm's IT

Customer Question

I work in a small law firm. A few monts ago, our firm's IT manager sent me an email - with a cc to the office manager - about a computer issue I needed help with the previous day, but the email was written in a dismissive, nasty tone and totally out of line. I "Replied All," calling her out on her tone and saying how she was at fault in this situation. I moved my Reply All email to a personal folder in my Outlook Email. I also forwarded another email to th office manager, supporting my claim of how the IT manager was at fault. Yesterday, I went to check those emails, and both have "mysteriously disappeared." Neither emails could be found in my In Box, Sent Items nor Deleted Items. (The only email I still have is the one the IT manager first sent to me.) Note that the office manager and the IT manager are good friends. My question is: Was it illegal for IT manager (or perhaps office manager?) to go into my firm email account and delete those emails that displayed her in a negative context -- thus, "destroying evidence" to her poor work performance? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.To answer your question directly, yes. The firm's emails belong to the firm, not to the individual user. The users have no expectation of privacy or ownership of their sent or received emails. Had this been your personal email account, you would have a claim, but that does not appear to be the case here. Now, this may violate internal policies and practices of the firm, and is perhaps something the managing partner could deal with, but is would not be the type of thing you could sue over.