Are Email Disclaimers of Any Importance?

4 Mar, 2016

Email disclaimers are so widely used that most people do not even pay attention to their content.

There is currently no legal theory or doctrine under which an email disclaimer would be enforceable in South Africa and such has never been tested in a South African court. In the United States case of Langley (Township) v Witschel 2015 BCSC 123, the court stated that simply because a disclaimer is automatically added and its wording is of a general nature does not mean it should be completely ignored. However, to be of any force and effect the disclaimer cannot directly contradict the substance of the email in question. It is therefore accepted that users of email disclaimers should use them only when appropriate and required, in order to avoid diminishing their value.