It is extremely likely that many of you have signed contracts that require you to keep confidential information private. As with all contracts that you sign, make sure to read each clause carefully and take them seriously. I cringe anytime I have been in the courthouse and overheard field landmen talking freely about their clients and the areas in which they are working. I once heard a cautionary tale that I really think drives the point home. A broker that I worked for in the past had a meeting one day and told all of the landmen about someone that was working for them on another project. Apparently the landman had a couple beers with his “friend” and during the course of their drinks they were talking about work. The landman ended up talking about the client and what he was working on. The next day, the “friend” called up the client, told him about the conversation and offered his own services instead, stating that he would never reveal confidential information. So what do you think happened? The broker lost the client and the landman lost his job and could potentially have been sued for breach of contract. The outcome was not good for anyone involved, with the possible exception of the “friend”. Don’t put yourself or your broker in that position.
So what can you do to keep that confidential information safe? 1. Don’t discuss your clients or projects with anyone that is not on the project (yes, that includes other landmen that work for the same broker on a separate project, and landmen that you once worked on the project with that have now moved on to a new project); 2. Don’t leave confidential information laying around at the courthouse; keep it close by at all times and out of sight of any curious on-lookers; 3. Keep a passcode on your phone, computer, and tablet to prevent access in the event that you lose a device; and 4. Remember that your work product is probably owned by your broker or client (depending on the terms of your contract); it is not yours to share even upon the completion of a project. Keep confidential information secure and enhance and establish your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy landman.