The easy and instantaneous nature of email makes it easy to forget the permanent nature of these communications. But when a dispute arises, emails are often the first evidence to which both parties turn. Following email etiquette reduces the chance that e-discovery will be embarrassing or harmful to your case.
- 1. Use the same care and tone for a business email as you would for a business letter.
- 2. Be courteous. Avoid curse words, all capital letters, !!! or ???.
- 3. Make a practice of double-checking the To:, CC: and BCC: fields before pressing send. Consider filling in these fields after you drafted the email to avoid accidentally pressing â€œsendâ€ before the email is complete. Be careful with “Reply All.”
- 4. Include a brief subject line that explains the email’s content and purpose.
- 5. Try to keep your emails to one subject each. For a new subject, start a new message.
- 6. Use a signature line that includes your contact information.
- 7. Use complete sentences that would be understandable to a third party. Avoid acronyms. While the meaning of partially-expressed thoughts or abbreviations may be clear to you now, these could be misinterpreted by an opposing party or attorney years later, without context.
- 8. Copying an attorney on an email does not automatically make the email subject to attorney-client privilege.
- 9. Do not forward chain emails, especially regarding political or controversial issues.
James M. Shaker is a Member in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLCâ€™s Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group. For more information, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ryanswansonlaw.com.
Click Here to Download