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As technology advances, corporations are increasingly discovering that employee gossip has migrated from the office water cooler to instant messaging platforms. IM programs can be internal or external. They allow employees to instantly exchange ideas and observations, or to collaborate with others. Unlike real-world conversations in corporate lunchrooms or around employee cubicles, however, instant messages can be captured, preserved and ultimately displayed in the courtroom. Both in-house and outside counsel should be aware of the potential legal risks surrounding IMs, as these instantaneous chat conversations can implicate regulatory requirements and/or electronic discovery obligations during litigation.
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