Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2010

E-mail Has Its Advantages
I read with interest the article in last month’s Bulletin by Peter Appleton regarding the potential for abuse of sanctions (“Sanctions are Like the Lottery”). I do not know Mr. Appleton, but agree with his sentiments, particularly his notation at the conclusion of his article that “He hates e-mail and does not use it.”

E-mail is advantageous in some circumstances in legal practice, i.e., rapidly exchanging drafts of documents. I believe, however, that e-mail is being overused and abused by many attorneys. While it is a simple matter to send immediate e-mail responses, communication by phone or in person is much more helpful.

A prominent mediator friend of mine recently confirmed my sentiments on this subject by noting that he now encounters attorneys arriving at mediation with great hostility towards each other since they have never really communicated; but rather, have engaged in increasingly hostile e-mails up to the time of the actual mediation. Effective communication involves the give and take of an actual conversation.

Miles Sweeney, Portland

Ironic Change

In the November 2010 Bulletin, OSB President Kathleen Evans wrote about future changes the bar is making in how it communicates with members and how by doing so the bar will be reducing its consumption of paper, thereby saving resources and money, and how this is now possible due to changes in technology.

I found it somewhat ironic that changes in technology have instead led some lawyers to actually consume more resources. I am specifically referring to the annoying practice of both faxing and mailing every letter and document being sent out. After including cover sheets and confirmation pages, more than twice the necessary amount of paper is consumed in the process. What compels these lawyers to think one needs two copies of everything?

Mark F. Bierly, McMinnville

We Love Letters

The Bulletin welcomes letters. In general, letters should pertain to recent articles, columns or other letters and should be limited to 250 words. Other things to keep in mind:

Letters must be original and addressed to the Bulletin editor. We do not reprint letters addressed to other publications, to other individuals, to whom it may concern, etc. Preference is given to letters responding to letters to the editor, articles or columns recently published in the Bulletin.

Letters must be signed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. (There are exceptions. Inquire with the editor.) Letters may not promote individual products, services or political candidates. All letters must comply with the guidelines of Keller v. State Bar of California in that they must be germane to the purpose of regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of the legal services available to the people of Oregon.

Letters may be edited for grammatical errors, style or length, or in cases where language or information is deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for publication. Profane or obscene language is not accepted.

We strive to print as many letters as possible. Therefore, brevity is important, and preference will be given to letters that are 250 words or less. Letters become the property of the Oregon State Bar. Authors of rejected letters are notified by the editor.

Send letters to: Editor, OSB Bulletin, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281; e-mail: editor@osbar.org.

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