Everyone has one nowadays. And I think they are absolutely useless. Whether it is a cell phone number, a quotation from somebody not worth listening to at any point in life or a disclaimer that gives credit card companies a run for their monotonous money, you will likely find one of these things at the end of every email in your inbox.
I use them thus I’m as guilty as the next guy.
I’ve got one for my firm e-mail, one for my personal e-mail, one for my blog e-mail and one for the secret e-mail account that only the NSA knows about. But, I want to break from the mold of lawyers e-mail signatures like this:
NOTICE: THIS E-MAIL MESSAGE IS A CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION AND MAY ALSO CONTAIN ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT. THIS COMMUNICATION HAS BEEN SENT IN FURTHERANCE OF AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF FACILITATING THE RENDITION OF PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE AND/OR SERVICES. IF YOU ARE NOT THE ADDRESSEE OR INTENDED RECIPIENT OF THIS E-MAIL MESSAGE, PLEASE DELETE THIS MESSAGE AND DESTROY ANY PRINTED COPIES HEREOF. THIS E-MAIL IS NOT INTENDED TO BE RELEASED TO OPPOSING PARTIES, OPPOSING COUNSEL OR ANY OTHER PERSON.I apologize for the all capital eye-rape but you get the point.
These electronic signatures are awful reading and they do not prevent the disclosure of any privileged document that a sender mistakenly ‘replies all’. It’s not like that you get to claw back anything that you sent when you were (1) tired, (2) drunk, (3) NyQuiled, (4) pissed off or (5) all of the above. Once your e-mail hits the interwebs, it’s gone.
Thus, I want to create one that accurately reflects my professional status and my personality all the while conveying the message that I’ll shank you if this e-mail falls into the wrong hands (even if it is not your fault). Something along the lines of this:
T. Namby PambyWhat do you think? Any suggestions? Or should I just do away with the e-mail signature all together?
Attorney at Law
233 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60607
This e-mail message was sent to you by a semi-coherent lawyer who does not care for idiots, clients or bankruptcy attorneys. If this e-mail came to you from the hours of 8pm through 7am, it may have been sent under the influence of liquid courage. If it was received at any other time, read at your own risk (Surgeon Generals have warned that combining coffee, five-hour energy and a juris doctor will result in sudden onset assholedom as well as anal leakage). If this e-mail was sent to you because the sender didn’t verify the appropriate recipient, please laugh at him. The material in this e-mail may be confidential or of a privileged nature, but if you are reading it, well, the sender is SOL. This e-mail may have been composed at a billable rate even if it is a one-word response and, as such, prepare to see a bill for it. Please consider the environment when printing this e-mail. If you must print it, please start a forest fire.
Sent from my iPhone. Because I have better toys than you.