Monday, April 11, 2011

Responding to the Partner’s Sunday Email

It’s 7:15am on the Sabbath.

I was awake because there is an English Premier League soccer game to watch my body hates me and won’t let me sleep in. Upon waking up, I did what I normally do: check my email. Lo and behold my partner has sent me an email. Before 7am:
“Where do we stand on the Acme case? We were supposed to do [insert legal mumbojumbo here] by Monday. Is it done?”
Now to properly understand why this email is special, you have to understand that the sending partner does not give me a lot of work. Nor do we work together on much of anything. There are days that I think he thinks I am a secretary. Or a potted plant. This is the long winded way of saying I have no idea what is going on in the case that he emailed about while I was in the final seconds of blissful sleep.

Thus, at 7:16 yesterday morning, I was faced with several options on how to respond:

The “honesty is the best policy” option

Since you sent me the email, I’ve been looking through the firm server and my personal files. Unfortunately, I have no record of that being done. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with on this file.

The “I don’t need no stinking job security” option

I have absolutely no idea what is going on with the Acme case. The last substantive work you had me do on the file was to staple a stack of documents that you needed as you were running over to court. And that was two months ago. You have never shared with me what the court has ordered, what work needs to be done on the file or the names of opposing counsel. I consider it a blessing that I actually know what case you are talking about in your email. To answer your question: I have no idea if it was done or not.

The “Sunday” Option

Mark email as unread. Face consequences Monday. Go Golfing.

Weekend emails are the worst.