Dear Lucinda–explaining your lack of privilege

Dear Lucinda;

Today I received a very nice letter from you thanking me for all my efforts to help Mary (not).

I would love to help you with your endeavors to wipe your name and the Michigan Advocacy Project from the face of the earth, but I just don’t have the time, ability, interest or motivation. (just kidding).

I publish emails I receive from Ken, and if he makes some good points about Probate, I publish them, from whatever source, bearing in mind that that newsworthy content is the name of the game.

I absolutely have no idea what you are having a problem with.

For some reason, people think that if they put a disclaimer against “accidental or intentional disclosure of private information” that it creates a legal privilege.  It does not.  Only attorneys, clergy and your CPA in Illinois have that privilege and it can be waived by public disclosure.  Ken is not your attorney.  I am not your attorney.  Who ever passed the email without your permission is the person you need to stop emailing and you need to complain to her or him assuming they have signed a confidentiality agreement with you or hold a statutorily created privilege.  I don’t have that with you, nor does Ken.  If you make a disclosure to someone you do not have a confidentiality agreement with, they are free to pass it on to whomever they want.

Accordingly, I am not negligent to you.  I hold no duties with respect to you, negligence, malfeasance, misfeasance, or otherwise. What legal theory exactly ARE you using?  Right to privacy?  You disclosed the statement to someone you had no legal privilege with, nor did he or she sign a confidentiality agreement with them, so please explain exactly what legal theory you are asserting.

I have no need or desire to publish anything you wrote.  Accordingly, you have to point out specifically where on the blog you want your content removed and I will do it.

I am publishing your letter because you sent it to me and I assume you want it published.  You also did not include an email or fax, and well, I only communicate that way because stamps are expensive (just kidding).

You, by running a blog, are a “celebrity” in your field.  You have to accept the fact people will use your name, the things you say on and off your site and pass them on.

Try to be gracious about it instead.


PS–You don’t have to send me anything certified mail, because I always acknowledge correspondence and respond promptly, often within minutes or hours. That is the only point of certified mail.  Plus while 95% of the mail arrives at its destination in 5 days, the other 5% is delayed or permanently lost.  Email is a better option for you.
PPS–I have no idea why you sent me your letter.  You did not mention any particular blog post that offended you, so I don’t think there is anything to change or remove.
PPS–Thank you for helping people to understand that just because they put the phrase that the information contained therein MAY be considered confidential, it does NOT necessarily create a legally binding duty to keep the information confidential.  You have to have a confidentiality agreement which is signed by the party under the duty.  Otherwise it is only statutory.  That’s why lawyers, clergy and Illinois CPA’s put that phrase on their communications.  Other people copy it and think it does something, (I could name names, but I won’t), but it does not.  Thank you for busting another urban legend us IP lawyers have to deal with all the time that really should be on  If you want, I can add this info to my website when I get a chance so you will understand how confidentiality, first amendment and news rights work.

PPPS-If you don’t like the blog, please don’t read it.  If the blog upsets you, please don’t read it.  If Ken is passing along your emails or publishing them, and you don’t like that, please don’t email him.  Simple solutions. Also, if you don’t want me publishing your stuff, just put on your emails, not for JoAnne to publish.  What do I care?  the only problem is, some of these threads get soooo long, I might not catch it, so you will have to politely email me and tell me the date and title of the post containing your content and I will summarize it instead–if it’s important, and I assure you that would be a remote rarity.  Again, what do I care?
PPPPS–if you don’t write me again, thank you very much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s