Employment Law

SHRM 2011: Three Rules for Email

Email has made it easier than ever for plaintiffs’ attorneys to discover wrongdoing and prove liability, an expert said today at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

“The ‘e’ in email is for ‘eternal evidence,'” said Mindy H. Chapman, Esq., president of Chicago-based training firm Mindy Chapman & Associates LLC.

A company that has 1,000 employees, each of whom sends 25 emails each day over 20 working days in each month, will have 6 million emails each day — any of which could potentially lead to a lawsuit. Litigation discovery software can help plaintiffs’ attorneys to find the smoking gun among those 6 million emails, Chapman warned.

Three rules to limit legal exposure, according to Chapman:

1. Ask, does this need to be in writing?

2. If you can’t say it, don’t email it.

3. Write every email like it’s going to a jury.