More and more of the communications between lawyers are conducted by email. For the most part, I approve of the change and, indeed, I proposed and served as the principle author of the new rule of civil procedure that allows for the service of papers in state court via email. T.R.C.P. Rule 5.02(2). I rarely see the need for letters between lawyers anymore, and use letters only to communicate on very substantial matters (settlement demands, inadequate discovery response letters, policy limit demands, etc.). Even then I tend to have the letter attached to an email for immediate delivery.
That being said, communicating by email presents a host of problems. Therefore, I was happy to see this post by Rita Gunther Mcgrath that offered up "Rita’s Rules for Email." Here they are (in bold), with my comments and additions:
1. Meaningful subject lines that tell the reader what to expect. Don’t say “Thursday’s meeting” as your subject. Say “followup expected by client from Thursday’s meeting.” (My case management program inserts the case name in the subject line. To help find the emails later in my CMP, I put the subject of the email in the first line of the email and start the text two lines below it. Given the layout of my CMP email screen, I can see the first twenty or thirty letters of each email and enhance my ability to find the email when I need it.)