Entertainment lawyer speaks on former Raiders coach Jon Gruden's email fallout

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 22:18:26-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden learned a hard, and expensive lesson. You leave a digital trail with your emails; it can come back to haunt you.

“It amazes me to see what comes out on emails and on to the network.”

Charles Lombino has worked in entertainment law for more than 40 years and says he was stunned by the reports of Gruden’s emails.

The New York Times reported Gruden made misogynistic, homophobic, and racist statements in conversations with the former president of the Washington Football Team Bruce Allen, and others.

“I don’t send emails like that. I work for a living and I don’t know how people put such things in emails,” Lombino said.

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Gruden reportedly sent the emails through his personal account to Allen’s team account. The emails were uncovered in a separate NFL investigation into workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team organization. Lombino says these conversations can be turned over anytime.

“The sender is the owner of the copyright of the emails, but the recipient can still make that email public,” he said.

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Lombino says any emails on a work account are owned by a company or team and have free range on what it can do with them. The privacy of Gruden’s emails was nullified when Washington turned over the emails. Lombino says people need to be smart about what they write.

“You have to be careful about what you put in emails, what you put on Facebook or anything you put on the internet because it’s all open and it lasts for years,” he said.

He says this especially applies to people who are often in the public spotlight, like an NFL head coach where they will be under heavy scrutiny.

“People in prominent positions have enemies as well as friends and those emails can be made public and can come back to bite you,” he said.

Lombino also says it’s important not to mix personal and work emails together and still be professional and courteous. Any email still has a chance of becoming public.