Things You Should Never Put in an E-mail

Posted Dec 3, 2008, 12:37 pm CST

By Molly McDonough

Over at the Wichita Eagle blog What the Judge Ate for Breakfast, there’s a caution about e-mail during office hours on office computers.

Courts reporter Ron Sylvester quips, “My wife says you should never put anything in a company e-mail that you don’t want to be shown to 12 strangers on a big movie screen.”

His wife’s an employment lawyer, so she should know. The post notes that lawyers are increasingly searching company e-mail and files during e-discovery.

So what are they looking for?

Roger Matus, over at the blog Death by E-mail, reproduces a top 10 list.

Here are a few that will likely raise red flags for e-discovery sleuths:

• “Delete this email immediately.”

• “I really shouldn’t put this in writing.”

• “We’re going to do this differently than normal.”

• “I don’t want to discuss this in e-mail. Please give me a call.”

• “Don’t ask. You don’t want to know.”

Matus then advises, “If you find yourself typing one of these phrases, perhaps you should delete the entire e-mail.”

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