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Issue 56 | March 2019

LIANSWERS

This newsletter includes information to help lawyers reduce the likelihood of being sued for malpractice. The material presented is not intended to establish, report, or create the standard of care for lawyers. The articles do not represent a complete analysis of the topics presented, and readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.
Keep your composure: Avoid errors with proper email composition order

It's happened to us all - that moment of dread when you realize you’ve sent an email rife with typos and/or awkward phrasing, neglected to include an attachment, or left the subject line blank. Or worse, you’ve sent an email that gives private information to unauthorized parties. Or even worse, you write a response to something in the heat of the moment and send it without proper proofreading or consideration. A simple way to avoid these mistakes involves working your way from bottom to top in your email drafting process. Follow this composition order:

  1. Draft the body of your email first, and make any necessary edits before moving to step two. Maybe save it as a draft and come back to it a few hours or a day later.
  2. Include any attachments.
  3. Complete the subject line.
  4. Add the recipient address(es). If relying on autocomplete, be sure to confirm that the addresses are correct (e.g., are you supposed to choose the “asmith@yourclient.com” or the “asmith@opposingcounsel.com”?)

When you leave the recipient field blank until you have completed the email, you greatly reduce the risk that an incomplete, unedited, or otherwise unprofessional email will be sent.