Have you ever asked opposing counsel for an email address only to be told, “We don’t do emails”?
Well, those of us who have been around a while remember when there was some initial resistance to email correspondence, but recently? With the pandemic? In this economy? Just about everyone is on board with email communication.
This is great for a lot of reasons. It saves costs on paper, postage, clerical labor and storage. Also, there is zero doubt as to when the correspondence was sent and received. It is all upside, no?
Well, recently, I encountered one of those rare holdouts who refuses to use email for communication related to litigation. At a deposition of an applicant, I asked opposing counsel for an email address and was rebuffed: “We don’t do emails!”
Having come to this country as an immigrant, I always harbor some hidden doubt as to my English skills, so at first I thought I misunderstood. But no, applicant’s counsel doubled down and refused to provide an email address.
Well, as Uncle Ivan used to say, emails are “not optionary!” But California Code of Regulations Section 8 10625(b)(2) specifically provides that service may be made via email. If a party may serve via e-mail, other parties cannot refuse to accept service via e-mail and thus must provide an email for service.
But more than that, representatives appearing before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board must file appropriate notice of representation. Section 8 CCR 10400(b)(3) specifically provides that an attorney’s notice of representation “shall include … the … email address … of the law firm or other entity’s agent for service of process.”
Without a valid email address, presumably, the notice of representation would be incomplete and defective.
What do you think? Are you one of those who refuses to provide an email address to opposing counsel? If you are, how are you reading this article? Have you encountered any such folks in your travels?
Gregory Grinberg is managing partner of the Tobin Lucks office in Burlingame and a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law. This post is reprinted with permission from Grinberg’s WCDefenseCA blog.
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