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Protecting attorney-client privilege when invoice data is sent to accounts payable

A law department of about 70 lawyers electronically transmits a block of payables information each week from its matter management system to the company’s SAP system. It does so by sending the information to an intermediary server, from which an SAP crawler extracts the information and posts back to the server confirmatory data.

The law department follows this circuitous procedure so that it does not risk its attorney client privilege by disclosing invoice details. Paranoia and legal conservatism, I suspect – like the early worries about using e-mail — since so many people in a non-electronic world see invoices from law firms.

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