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Court Fines Law Firm Over Spam Filter

Posted Jul 13, 2007 4:26 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Initially, the problem at a suburban Denver law firm was pornographic e-mail. Employees complained, and the office's tech administrator was told to do something. He did.

Dialing up the spam setting on the firm's firewall solved the porn problem. But it also created a new issue, PC World reports. Shortly after the May 21 fix, the firm missed an e-mail about a May 30 federal court hearing in a civil case because the spam filter sent it to a junk file. Not knowing that a hearing date had been set, the firm missed it. Now, Franklin D. Azar & Associates has been ordered to pay the opposing side's legal costs to attend the hearing, which are expected to amount to several thousand dollars.

"This is an IT guy's nightmare if you work in a law firm," says Matt Kesner, chief technology officer with San Francisco's Fenwick & West. "It doesn't take a very high percentage of false positives in the anti-spam world to misidentify a crucial piece of correspondence."

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