Effective January 1, 2008, New Hampshire adopted a rule that clearly protects persons who, in good faith, e-mail confidential information to a lawyer from having the lawyer use the information against the prospective client.  The comments to New Hampshshire Rule 1.18 provide in part: “In its version of these provisions, New Hampshire’s rule eliminates the terminology of ‘discussion’ or ‘consultation’ and extends the protections of the rule to persons who, in a good faith search for representation, provide information unilaterally to a lawyer who subsequently receives and reviews the information.  This change recognizes that persons frequently initiate contact with an attorney in writing, by e-mail, or in other unilateral forms, and in the process disclose confidential information that warrants protection.”

The rule no doubt makes it more important for NH lawyersto use effective disclaimers on their web pages.