St. Denis & Davey, P.A.

Legal Malpractice Issues

Email errors attorneys may make

| Jan 9, 2020 | Legal Malpractice Law |

There are a number of email mistakes attorneys in Florida may make. While some of these may be small, others can rise to the level of negligence and may constitute legal malpractice in some cases.

Some errors have to do with treating email the way old-fashioned correspondence would have once been. For example, an attorney might use “from the desk of” in the subject line or assume that it is appropriate to wait a few days to reply to email as they might do if it were a letter. Others might use the medium ineffectively. Fancy graphics can be unnecessarily distracting and even make the message more difficult to load. On the other hand, attorneys should take full advantage of the signature block, which helps ensure they do not leave off contact information or a disclaimer stating that the information is private.

Replying to email while angry or arguing over email are both mistakes. Attorneys should choose professional, simple and informative subjects and should avoid errors in using the tool that could be catastrophic. For example, using “reply all” carelessly could mean opposing counsel is receiving internal conversations. Using the autocomplete and sending an email to the wrong person could be annoying or embarrassing, or it could rise to the level of professional negligence and legal malpractice.

Attorneys are held to standards of conduct just as doctors and other professionals are. Individuals who suffer as a result of an attorney’s professional negligence may be able to receive compensation. Examples of legal malpractice may include having a conflict of interest, failing to file paperwork in time to meet statute of limitations requirements and trial errors. It is important for people to understand that losing a case is not malpractice, but if it happens because of negligence, it may be.