|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
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
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