Monday, June 29, 2009


In my first book which I wrote initially for my son, I had a quick blurb on emails. I essentially warned him that before he sends emails, he should re-read them and assume that the world will read the email. He should then revise the email accordingly. Or maybe not send it at all.

Former Governor Elliot Spitzer had a comment on emails when he was the NY Attorney General. In effect he said, I don't know why people use emails for sensitive items as much as they do. But as long as they do, they will make prosecuters' jobs much easier.

Three years ago the Law Blog of the WSJ had an article on a bankruptcy matter called FiberMark. An Examiner's Report was written by long-time bankruptcy heavyweight, Harvey Miller, then of Greenhill and now back at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. It is a great read. I read the entire report and it is like a novel you can't put down. The Law Blog refers to it as the DaVinci Code of chapter 11's.

Why do I raise this report here? Well, among the central items in the report are emails sent by one of the attorneys in the matter. The emails cast the attorney in a very poor light and were key evidence that Harvey relied on to the detriment of the offending parties. I highly recommend that everyone who uses email in professional or contentious situations read this report. You will enjoy it and the lessons will stay with you forever.

My Mother, who is an artist and formerly designed dresses, used to tell me, "Measure twice, cut once." So my advice for emails, "Reread twice, send once."

Cheers, Mike

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