Why your “smartphone” keeps me in business

Dear Virginia Employee:

I wanted to thank you for being glued to your smart phone.

I wanted to thank you for treating that small device, owned by your employer, like it is your own.

Checking your personal email, texting clients at all hours, and making disparaging remarks about your co-workers and boss in these text messages, keeps my phone ringing, bills paid, and child fed.

You see, dear Employee, that little warm box you hold so dear – is not really yours. It is owned by someone else. They can get access to your calls, and texts. Arguably they can read your personal communications when you return it – AND, in some situations, if you delete these communications from the device before you return it, you can be accused of destroying evidence.

I am grateful for your thoughtless behavior because when you get sued for (a) taking trade secrets (emailing them from your work account to your gmail account); (b) breaching your fiduciary duty (by telling your clients to wait a few weeks until you get rolling at your new firm); and (c) defaming your old company (by telling your clients in personal email that the owner doesn’t know what he is doing), you will need legal help. And that is where I come in.

On Facebook, Linked in and Instragram? Yeah, me too. And when LinkedIn sends your whole contact list an update that you have changed jobs, and your old company sues you for “soliciting customers” in breach of your non-compete, you may also call me and ask – what gives?

Technology is changing the world, but sadly in some circumstances, our behavior has not caught up to the technology.

Dearest employee, with the beloved smartphone in hand, pocket or purse, if you are considering a transition from one job to another in the next 1 year — YOU NEED to get organized. You may need help in making the change in a legal and practical manner that protects you from litigation. If you need such help, we would be happy to help.

Lauren Ellerman

Sent from her smart phone – owned by the firm, and not her.


Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.