Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just to clarify...

I'm in a group that meets weekly that has confidentiality as one of its basic tenets. We always say `what is said in this room, stays in this room.' And, you know what? In 3 years, no one has violated that agreement. No one. Not a soul. There were no legal papers to sign, just a verbal agreement.

What's amazing about this is I've also been a party to a legal confidentiality agreement signed by many parties. This "legal" and "binding" agreement has been violated time and again by the folks who signed it. So, just to review--here are some key things to think about when you sign such an agreement and before you decide to violate such an agreement:

Confidentiality clause: The intention of a confidentiality clause is to keep matters private. A confidentiality clause means conversations, written communications, electronic communiques, heresay, agreements, and terms of settlements cannot be disclosed to anyone or discussed in any situation public or private.

Penalties for violating confidentiality clauses: When you sign a confidentially agreement, you are agreeing to remain silent on a particular issue. The penalty for violating a confidentiality agreement can result in fines and even jail time.

I hope this is helpful.

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