Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Emails a Day?

Just got out of a two-hour depo and have 43 new emails...I h jd4hire02/06/18
Hundred+ per day. I think that alone would make being an dietcoke02/06/18
I've found that email is like karma. The more you put out, t onehell02/06/18
I have a similar approach. I rarely write long emails. It's guyingorillasuit02/06/18
Me, too. Plus, I think the client would rather you call tha jeffm02/06/18
Short email responses always. If its important, call me. P psusurf02/06/18
A hundred or more easy Use separate email accounts One for trijocker02/06/18
The 80s were much better. Emails make for more stress and da boomeresq02/07/18
Interesting. They call me a boomer, even though I am only 5 jeffm02/07/18
My work email to spam ration has gotta be like 1:7 to be con superttthero02/07/18
I know. More recently, I got into the habit of deleting spa jeffm02/07/18
Don't get me wrong, I like the convenience and economy of em boomeresq02/07/18
You guys are nuts. I used to love emails in private practice cocolawyer02/07/18
I completely agree. I’m in court or depositions all the t therover02/09/18
I get about 25 a day, any that require a response I'll alway shikes02/08/18
I get many emails. If it's a detailed read and response, i b dopesmokeresquire02/08/18
In what city is the city water service incapable of shutting dogdaypm02/10/18
Emails are outdated and an inefficient method to manage your sillydood02/08/18
The only people I know who use slack are friends who work fo loblawyer02/09/18
Maybe 40 meaningful messages. One or two defense counsel I h orgdonor02/08/18
They probably just want to bill. shikes02/10/18
I get tons of emails each day but it's still better than get cranky02/09/18
I'm an attorney-advisor with the SSA. I receive a handful of lawst02/10/18

jd4hire (Feb 6, 2018 - 1:37 pm)

Just got out of a two-hour depo and have 43 new emails...I hate emails. Sure, some days I'm less than 5, but most bounce from 10 - 30. This includes internal and external.

What about all of you in JUD paradise?

Also, for you bean counting defense attorneys do you bill a 0.1 for receipt and analysis and a0.1 for a response? A friend told me the other day they always bill a 0.2 when responding to the email as, per the carriers, you're not supposed to block bill, so a 0.1 is receipt and a 0.1 is responding (unless, of course, it takes more on each end).

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dietcoke (Feb 6, 2018 - 2:35 pm)

Hundred+ per day.

I think that alone would make being an attorney in 1980s or earlier so much nicer than now.

It's not just the volume, but that I am expected to respond to important e-mails same day. It's so easy to miss one in the deluge.

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onehell (Feb 6, 2018 - 2:50 pm)

I've found that email is like karma. The more you put out, the more you get back. Not to mention the fact that whatever you write can be forwarded around, lead to unintentional privilege waivers, etc., or be used against you later.

So now, when someone emails me, I first ask whether it absolutely needs a written response (such as when a file needs to be attached). If not, I will only respond by email if I can do it in a sentence or two. Anything else results in a phone call or in-person meeting. I also prevent things from being missed or lost using the inbox zero method, so if it's in my inbox that means I have to actually do something with it. Anything else gets forwarded, deleted or archived. There are exactly three emails in my inbox right now.

The result has been that emails have reduced from 50 or so a day (not counting junk, automatic billing emails, calendar invites, stuff I'm CCd on but don't have to respond to, etc.) to around ten or so real, actual emails per day that need some sort of response from me. People started to get the hint and they just call or stop by my office to chat, which I find much better, particularly since you can't do that outside business hours.

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guyingorillasuit (Feb 6, 2018 - 2:56 pm)

I have a similar approach. I rarely write long emails. It's easier and cheaper to get on the phone.

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jeffm (Feb 6, 2018 - 6:09 pm)

Me, too. Plus, I think the client would rather you call than make them read long emails. If I feel I need to cover myself for any reason, then, I email and call.

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psusurf (Feb 6, 2018 - 3:16 pm)

Short email responses always. If its important, call me. Plus, I can say something in a telephone call that can't be tossed back in my face in writing.

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trijocker (Feb 6, 2018 - 5:58 pm)

A hundred or more easy
Use separate email accounts
One for major personal, another for work and then one or two for junk.
If I have to scan emails that are important, I don't want to push through dozens of Best buy sales or discounts on Southwest, so if a merchant requires an email addy I register that to a throwaway email account, that also lists boring club notices and things I don't need to read right away.

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boomeresq (Feb 7, 2018 - 5:13 am)

The 80s were much better. Emails make for more stress and danger. Then, mail came 1 time per day. Secretary sorted it. I dictated a response. She typed it. She screened phone calls. You could only be reached if you wanted to be reached. Pre cell phones, court was almost sanctuary. Client's were told that I was in court and would get back to them when I could, no lie. I find that I am doing things that were secretarial functions ie typing, billing. I am more available, work harder and it's no improvement. Also, emails can present real risks for an attorney. Always email defensively. The shorter the better.

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jeffm (Feb 7, 2018 - 10:31 am)

Interesting. They call me a boomer, even though I am only 50, but I'm in the mostly opposite camp. I love email. We exchange documents with ease. Remember what trading drafts and sending documents used to be like before email? I remember reams of that thermal fax paper which used to be curly and fade over time like Home Depot receipts. Before that, it must have been the real stone age.

Legal matters tend to move more slowly than they "should" as it is, and email has hastened the pace and made us lawyers tons more productive.

Of course, nobody can deny the drawbacks when you don't want to be contacted and feel guilty because you know that they know you are getting their messages. It really challenges the ability to procrastinate, but that's a good thing. It actually could prevent malpractice. The bad is that pesky clients can pester you a lot more easily.

I hated e-filing at first just because it was another bureaucratic scheme foisted on us by Big Brother, but I got familiar with it and got over it. It's tons better than the old way of filing and serving motions and pleadings.

I wouldn't go back if you paid me to.

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superttthero (Feb 7, 2018 - 10:36 am)

My work email to spam ration has gotta be like 1:7 to be conservative. Sure, some days I get dozens (even 100+ that aren't directly to me) work emails, but the issue with spam is that I ignore it and then I end up having like 500+ unread mails I have to sort through if I am not vigilant.

Hate spam.

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jeffm (Feb 7, 2018 - 10:39 am)

I know. More recently, I got into the habit of deleting spam immediately as it comes in. It seems less inundating when you don't let the numbers build up so high.

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boomeresq (Feb 7, 2018 - 1:04 pm)

Don't get me wrong, I like the convenience and economy of emails, but I do not like the fact they can be shared, forwarded and potentially wind up in 3rd party possession.

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cocolawyer (Feb 7, 2018 - 4:12 pm)

You guys are nuts. I used to love emails in private practice. I would get like 50 a day and charge 0.2 for each one. Its a billing gold mine. They also can be utilized as CYA material. Yes you do not want to answer a grey line issue in email, but most are fairly harmless.

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therover (Feb 9, 2018 - 8:08 am)

I completely agree. I’m in court or depositions all the time. Far more efficient to tap out a few emails (where’s your discovery, I assent to the motion to continue the pre-trial, etc.) than deal with phone calls later.

Email is far more time efficient too. Plus it’s a double billing opportunity. I can get an easy hour plus worth of billing on my commute, waiting for motion call, or listening to them go through my client’s work history at the beginning of a deposition.

Obviously I’m not sending anything I don’t want in writing.

What I hate with a passion is lengthy rambling voicemails. I changed my greeting to say if you want to leave anything but your name and number please call back or email. Still doesn’t stop the boomers from leaving rambling substantive voicemails. Drives me nuts.

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shikes (Feb 8, 2018 - 8:57 am)

I get about 25 a day, any that require a response I'll always shoot one to. .2 for email exchange everytime. .3 for an email chain.

I love getting emails.

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dopesmokeresquire (Feb 8, 2018 - 11:57 am)

I get many emails. If it's a detailed read and response, i bill at .25 same as a phone call.

If it's more pefunctory, then i bill at about 3 exchanges at .25

I responded to an email from a municipal client who didn't udnerstand why he couldn't break and enter into someone house to shut off their water. I explained that was a felony and that their ordinances doesn't allow for breaking and entering and doesn't trump the Criminal Code of my state. That was .25.

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dogdaypm (Feb 10, 2018 - 12:15 pm)

In what city is the city water service incapable of shutting off any given house from the street?

If they can only discontinue service from the main inside the house, wouldn't the homeowner just turn it back on?

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sillydood (Feb 8, 2018 - 1:03 pm)

Emails are outdated and an inefficient method to manage your workflow. Modernize your office by switching to Slack or another similar service to streamline communications. Emails should only be used for official client communications, external communications with opposing parties, etc. Email should NOT be used for intra-office communications or informal discussions.

If your office is antiquated and staffed mostly by Boomers or late Gen-Xers, you could establish a policy that you only check emails once per day, and if someone needs something immediately they need to call you.

If the problem is clients and not intra-office, ditto to the above. Tell them you only check emails once a day.

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loblawyer (Feb 9, 2018 - 1:55 pm)

The only people I know who use slack are friends who work for tech companies. I am sure law firms of any size are the last places you would find that in use, millennial associates notwithstanding.

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orgdonor (Feb 8, 2018 - 11:03 pm)

Maybe 40 meaningful messages. One or two defense counsel I have dealt with seem to take our cases very personally and blather on ad nauseum in the emails. I don't know what to do about this. I asked a woman not to email me so much one time and she ended up becoming very upset. I suppose every job has people like this.

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shikes (Feb 10, 2018 - 10:43 am)

They probably just want to bill.

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cranky (Feb 9, 2018 - 12:08 pm)

I get tons of emails each day but it's still better than getting calls, which really cut into productive time, and it's hard to get some clients to stop hemming and hawing. A good way to reduce emails is to not respond too quickly, ignore if no response is necessary, or if it's a client, send them a bill. I had one obnoxious guy say, cranky, you billed me for every email and phone call! Duh, what'd he expect?

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lawst (Feb 10, 2018 - 2:52 pm)

I'm an attorney-advisor with the SSA. I receive a handful of emails per day. My phone never rings. I hardly interact with coworkers. It's a stark contrast from my prior jobs in criminal litigation.

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