The Dangerous Side of Security Cameras

Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Habitat Magazine.

Surveillance cameras are a valued tool for keeping co-op and condo residents safe. They also have a dangerous side – when their footage is needed as evidence following a crime or accident on the property. Boards need to understand that they have legal obligations – and that they’re open to liability – in such situations.

When a board learns that someone has slipped on ice and fallen on the property, sustaining personal injury, it should immediately do three things. First, notify the managing agent; second, have the agent put the building’s liability insurance carrier on notice; and third, implement a so-called “litigation hold” with respect to all surveillance videos in, on, or around the premises.

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Using Personal Email Accounts for Co-op Business Is a Very Bad Idea

Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Habitat Magazine.

For many co-op and condo board members, email is the default means of communication. Most people have two accounts: a personal one that may also contain family, medical and financial information; and a business account that might contain confidential, proprietary or insider information. Both accounts may contain information that is protected by the attorney-client, marital, or another privilege.

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Corresponding by email has, in many situations, become our default method of communicating.  The ease and efficiency of email often trumps consideration of the vehicle used for such communications.

Beware:  There is no categorical expectation of privacy when using business email for non-business purposes.

Thus, using business email for private matters may expose your business accounts to a subpoena and search.  And, in some cases, such use may also waive the attorney-client or other privileges.

Complicated and expensive litigation often ensues:

In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd., 322 B.R. 247 (Bk. Ct. S.D. N.Y. March 21, 2005) Continue reading