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Do clients and attorneys typically communicate evidence via e-mail or cloud-based sharing services (i.e. One Drive or Dropbox)?

If so, are these safe for confidential material? It this a common way to share evidence to a lawyer?

If so, is there a particular reason why as my workplace doesn't consider such methods to be adequately secure for sharing confidential information.

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    What did your lawyer say when you asked about this?
    – bdb484
    Jan 18, 2023 at 4:54
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    Is any of your evidence actually confidential? If you have a basic commercial claim against a landlord, for example, your lease and any emails you exchanged with the landlord would already be known to the other party, would likely have to be disclosed to the other party, and would be part of the public record in litigation. If you're the subject of criminal prosecution and you need to tell your lawyer "I couldn't have been robbing Peter at the time in question because I was busy stabbing Paul across town at the time", that's a very different matter. Jan 18, 2023 at 5:58
  • @bdb484 they requested this over email and I haven't asked
    – hellohello
    Jan 18, 2023 at 6:12
  • @JustinCave I'd rather not get into the details. At this point they are doing research and their may be no litigation at all but if there is it would be me initiating it. This would be a civil matter, not a criminal one.
    – hellohello
    Jan 18, 2023 at 6:14
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    Expanding on the comment from @A.fm., you can email an encrypted zip file and provide the key through something more secure, such as a phone call.
    – doneal24
    Jan 19, 2023 at 16:01

2 Answers 2

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Your evidence is not confidential material

It will be disclosed to the other party and the court. Indeed it must be disclosed - even if it hurts your case.

Evidence is different from communications with your lawyer about the case. These are privileged and unless disclosed to the other party or the court with a waiver of privilege can’t be used even if they get them somehow.

Electronic transfer is how the world works

Lawyers and courts routinely deal with each other using email and file sharing services. Most courts actually require electronic filing.

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  • He really wasn’t asking whether electronic transfer is a thing commonly done, he was asking whether using a cloud storage site/app like OneDrive is an appropriate medium. Also, it’s not a given that everything he provides the lawyers will ultimately be evidence in the matter, and depending on the actual nature of some of the things mentioned, he may have good reason to be cautious with the transfer.
    – A.fm.
    Jan 18, 2023 at 17:59
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    FWIW, as a litigation attorney, probably 90% of the evidence that we receive from clients is shared in this manner. Unless it is a national security type case or there is a concrete reason to suspect electronic espionage (e.g. in a divorce where an ex-spouse has a history of hacking a spouse's accounts), this is probably adequate. If someone is uncomfortable with it, one could put the information on a USB drive and send it FedEx.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 18, 2023 at 20:52
  • You mean via file-sharing service (e.g., OneDrive, Sharefile, etc.), right? Sending attachments that are > 25MB ends up with just an email with a Google drive link attached. Also, with a Sharefile or the like, you can see who accessed the file(s) and when, which is its main selling point imho.
    – A.fm.
    Jan 18, 2023 at 23:13
  • @ohwilleke FedEx Data Transfer rate is better than any internet could be anyway. As a result, huge amounts of data are transferred physically in large cases.
    – Trish
    Jan 19, 2023 at 16:06
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Email and cloud-based file sharing services such as Gmail, One Drive, and Dropbox are generally considered safe for sharing non-sensitive information, but they may not be suitable for sharing confidential or sensitive information. The primary concern with using these services for confidential information is that they are not always secure and may be vulnerable to hacking or data breaches. Additionally, these services are not typically designed for the specific purpose of sharing legal documents, and may not have the same level of security as specialized legal document sharing platforms.

It is common for clients to share evidence with their lawyers via email or file sharing services, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to protect confidential information.

It is always a good idea to verify with your lawyer the best way to share evidence and to ensure that your evidence is protected and secure. Your lawyer may also have a preferred method for receiving evidence and it is important to discuss with them what is the best way to share your evidence.

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  • Your answer appears to just be restating what the querent is asking. The querent acknowledges that e-mail and cloud services aren't necessarily secure, their lawyer is the one asking them to do it. The question was asking whether this is normal practice and I'm unsure how this response addresses that question (maybe a little with your 2nd paragraph, but it really buries the lead). Jan 19, 2023 at 15:51
  • @Pyrotechnical yes u are correct. can you please downvote Jan 19, 2023 at 15:54

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