Email Etiquette Guide for Lawyers
Given attorney’s busy schedules, communicating over email is many times preferable. The ease of email, however, sometimes overshadow a number of problems with email communications. A New York Housing Court judge has developed a helpful “email etiquette guide” to alleviate the most common problems.
Ask questions up front.
Asking the question up front will direct the reader’s attention to the question, not your explanation. Your explanation is important, but the purpose of the email is to get your question answered.
Do not insinuate tone.
Unless opposing counsel is your best friend, tone can be unclear from email. Assume an unclear tone is not meant to be offensive.
Be prepared to pick up the phone.
If the conversation has turned into a confrontation, pick up the phone to resolve your differences. Resolving tricky matters can take seconds over the phone, but days over email.