This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences. Feel free to contact me at aparalegalslife@gmail.com with comments. Complaints, not so much :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Perils of E-Mail

As is typical in many cases these days, a recent trial involved the display and reading of hundreds of e-mails back and forth, both between the parties and within each company. 

One of the employees of the other side was, well, rather crude in making certain comments.  His comments involved sexually-oriented anatomical references to his spouse, among other less than polite tidbits.  Since they were included in the same paragraph with key communications, we had no choice but to read them into the official record.  (Why the other side didn't redact them as "personal" before producing is beyond me.)

The author was in the Courtroom, and noticably squirming when the e-mails were read into the record, and blown up onto a large screen for all in the Courtroom to see.  There were certainly some chuckles, and a rather stern look from the Judge.  This employee's crude and impolite writings are now public record, and were seen by his company's Board of Directors and major investors, most of whom were in court at the time, and all of whom have access to the transcript.

I know it's been said before and will be again, but it is a crucial lesson that we all forget from time to time.  Keep professional communications professional, even within your own company.  Avoid personal comments.  One never knows where your e-mail will end up.

No comments: