“What do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?”
“A good start”

“Why won’t sharks eat lawyers?”
“Professional courtesy”

“Why are there so many lawyers in the United States?”
“Because St. Patrick rid Ireland of all the snakes”

I received an email today with the following disclaimer. I’m sure you’ve all seen it, or something very similar to it.

This e-mail and any attachments are confidential. If you receive this message in error or are not the intended recipient, you should not retain, distribute, disclose or use any of this information and you should destroy the e-mail and any attachments or copies.

I’m probably violating some legal code outside of copyright by reprinting it here, but these disclamiers bug the crap out of me. If you are so silly as to send something confidential to the wrong person, that’s just too bad. It isn’t my problem outside of my obligation not to do anything illegal. You have violated your own rules, so deal with it. Hasn’t Enron, Scooter Libby, or Alberto Gonzales taught you to keep sensitive material out of emails?

I’ve seen numerous examples of these disclamiers ranging from, “Please alert us if you received this in error,” to three-paragraph dissertations about consequences and state codes. If you have any particular favorites laying around, by all means, put them in the comments.

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