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COMMUNICATIONS THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY Maury E. Lederman 617.457.4133 | March 6, 2015 Business Fundamentals Bootcamp.

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Presentation on theme: "COMMUNICATIONS THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY Maury E. Lederman 617.457.4133 | March 6, 2015 Business Fundamentals Bootcamp."— Presentation transcript:

1 EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY Maury E. Lederman 617.457.4133 | March 6, 2015 Business Fundamentals Bootcamp CIC-Boston

2 Overview – the Big Picture Email has all but replaced “hard copy” – internal and external. Email communications are permanent. Many treat email as if it were less entitled to the care, respect and attention formerly given to letters and memos. Nothing could be more wrong-headed.

3 It’s Permanent A computer wizard may be able to delete email, but the other 99.9% of us should assume it’s permanent!


5 “I hear we are already $200,000 over our [fee] estimate – that’s Team DLA Piper!” “Now Vince has random people working full time on random research projects in standard ‘churn that bill, baby!’ mode ….That bill shall know no limits.” “It took all of the associates four days to write those motions… Perhaps if we paid more money we’d have skilled associates.”

6 Prepare with Care Use the same level of care and attention to detail that you devote to any written communication.

7 From: Maury E. Lederman Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:04PM To: Betty and Jim Subject: [ ] Dear Betty and Jim: My below email had an error in the second sentence of the third paragraph. Here’s a correctied version:

8 Helpful or Harmful Like any recorded communication, email can be used to refresh one’s memory or show one is mistaken, inconsistent or biased.


10 Talk Instead Communicate orally when a permanent email could be used to embarrass your company, yourself or someone else.


12 Think First Remember … email reflects on the writer’s credibility, professionalism, values, work ethic and depth of knowledge.

13 Timing is Everything Email sent contemporaneously with the event or discussion is considered more credible and reliable than email sent days later.

14 Creates a Presumption If you make an assertion in an email and the recipient fails to challenge the assertion in a written response, the assertion is presumed to be true.

15 XXX

16 “YES” Result Email provides a less pressured means to ask someone to do something difficult; unlike an oral request, recipient has time to consider request and is more likely to respond positively!

17 Helps Opponent Email can assist your opponent’s proofs and defenses since it must be disclosed in litigation or arbitration.


19 “Both parties clearly expressed mutual assent to the terms when plaintiff’s counsel wrote [in an email] that ‘[the plaintiff] will accept [the defendant’s] settlement offer’ and defendants’ counsel responded ‘Glad we were able to get it done.’” Judge Nathaniel Gorton, United States District Court Judge, District of Massachusetts Hansen v. Rhode Island’s Only 24 Hour Truck & Auto Plaza, Inc., et al

20 May Cause Waiver Disclosure of confidential or privileged information to an outsider, even if inadvertent, can result in waiver of confidentiality or privilege.


22 Quick Response = MISTAKE Review and think carefully and critically about content of your email and content of email to which you are responding before hitting “send.” Allow 24-hour “cooling off” period.

23 Architect’s employee Project contractor Ex. 111A WSO11253/1 Exhibit067A Architect’s Principal

24 Write Professionally Emails containing capital letters, bold type, criticisms, embarrassing information or foul language are not well-received.

25 Subcontractor’s Project Manager Contractor’s Project Manager Project Subcontractor Senior Project Manager Subcontractor Contractor’s Project Manager Subcontractor’s Project Manager Project Don’t try to dick us on the pricing. Your engineering costs are always way over blown.

26 “Reply All” is Risky Only use “reply all” button if you are absolutely certain … using this button inadvertently has created legends!


28 To summarize Before you hit “send” … Check if appropriately drafted, accurately responsive, correctly typed, timely sent, absolutely credible, unquestionably concise, positively precise and undeniably truthful. “It’s not a faith in technology. It’s a faith in people.” Steve Jobs

29 Maury E. Lederman Murtha Cullina LLP 99 High Street, Boston, MA 02110 617.457.4133 | Disclaimer The information contained herein constitutes educational material and not legal advice. Copyright © 2015 Murtha Cullina LLP Remember to Complete the Speaker Survey: / ‘click’ on speakers / select your speaker

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