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Legal Risks of Online Conversations


Recognize legal risks, how to reduce risks, and when to stay online and document the conversation or take your conversation offline.

Email and other electronic communications are pervasive in today's world. However, the use of electronic communications as the default business communication mechanism may open up your organization to underappreciated liabilities. From intellectual property infringements, defamation and business disparagements, labor and employment issues, and false advertising claims - all are possible just by hitting the 'send' button without at least a few moments of review and reflection. The inherent limitations of electronic communications, without the cues found in verbal and personal communications, combined with the 'must respond now' pressure of an inquiry, may tarnish you and your brand when the recipient interprets your email in a far different manner than you intended. This topic will present real-world examples where just a few words in an email lead to substantial corporate liability. The material will help you and your employees recognize these risks and provide suggestions on how to reduce these risks - including when to stay online and document the conversation and when to take your conversation offline.



Michael L. Nepple

Michael L. Nepple

Thompson Coburn LLP

  • Partner at Thompson Coburn LLP
  • Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America® in both intellectual property litigation and First Amendment litigation, and St. Louis Lawyer of the Year in First Amendment litigation
  • Practice emphasizes intellectual property and media law counseling and litigation
  • Co-author of “In Focus” photographic copyright blog
  • Speaker at digital media and advertising conferences
  • J.D. degree, Saint Louis University School of Law; B.S. degree, The University of Iowa
  • Can be contacted at [email protected]
Jonathan Musch

Jonathan Musch

Thompson Coburn LLP

  • Partner at Thompson Coburn LLP
  • Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America® in intellectual property litigation, patent litigation, and trademark law
  • Practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property litigation and intellectual property consulting
  • J.D. degree, Washington University School of Law; B.A. degree, Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Can be contacted at [email protected]

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