Something that happened to a friend recently. This friend is in charge of negotiations for company A. An individual from company B, accidentally sent my friend minutes from a recent meeting outlining a lot of information that can be useful for my friend in company A during the negotiations. Naturally, if he were to use information it could be construed as insider trading (a rather serious offense).
A point of interest is that in the email from company B a disclaimer was attached stating the usual: "if this went to the wrong sender then don't read it, only intended for internal use, blah blah."
Now two points I found interesting, and correct me if I am wrong: the disclaimer isn't legally binding e.g. there is no two-party consent - its one sided. Secondly, one could assume a perfectly ethical individual would not have looked at the email any further after understanding what the contents of that email contained, should they have not noticed that it was not intended for them.
Thus, my question. Say company A and B were negotiating on a price. Company's B minutes state on the first line of the email that their max price is 100. Company A was willing to sell for 70. My friend, having read the first line may not choose to act on the information in the document so as to avoid insider trading, however, it is hard to deny the fact that having read that document he will negotiate differently at even a subliminal level. It's like in poker, you know the other persons hand through a reflection in the mirror. Would my friend be acting in an illegal manner?
Full disclosure: this is for my own curiosity. My friend is already consulting the companies lawyer, and informed company B of the email.