Friday, July 25, 2014

Avoid EWA: Emailing While Angry

Email is an amazing tool that makes communication easier and faster than ever. But it comes with risks. We've seen some unfortunate examples of emailing while distracted (EWD):

-This poor guy, who accidentally copied a justice on an email criticizing the justice's "uninformed" questions during oral argument (my prior post about him and another errant emailer is here).

-This summer associate who sent a highly embarrassing email intended for a friend to numerous partners and associates in his office
-This assistant DA, who was removed from a case and put on leave without pay for unintentionally sending a snarky email to numerous attorneys working on a high-profile case

And we've seen some examples of EWA:

-This exchange between a young lawyer and an attorney with whom she had accepted a job (but then changed her mind)

-This newly graduated lawyer ,who apparently lost his mind and sent an angry, abusive email to his law school's dean and faculty 
These are all bad, but none may be as bad as an EWA violation reported earlier this week by Above the Law. You can read the whole email (and the subsequent opinion that resulted) here, but suffice it to say that the email started, "You're an a**hole, Dan," and got worse from there.

It's fun to laugh at the misdeeds of others, but we've all sent emails to unintended recipients and we've all shot off terse, short, or unkind emails when frustrated. Hopefully these horror stories will convince you to take a few extra seconds to double-check the recipient list before you send an email and to think twice before sending angry emails that might come back to haunt you.  

Happy emailing and happy Friday!

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