In legal technology, there are good tricks and there are bad tricks.
Good tricks are those that help an attorney practice better, like artificial intelligence. Bad tricks are those that lawyers use to avoid responsibility, like using an email filter.
When it comes to opposing counsel, however, sometimes the bad tricks can be pretty good. Good because it didn't happen to you, that is.
Email Fail 1.0
A Florida law firm missed a deadline and blamed it on spam, which has been known to cause indigestion but not absolution. The lawyers said they never received certain motions and an order because their spam filter deleted the email correspondence.
The judge didn't buy it, and neither did the state court of appeals. It goes to show you can't trust spam filters or hanging chads.
Email Fail 2.0
It's hard to blame the email filter when you send the email. But that's what happened to counsel for Wells Fargo.
An attorney made a big mistake by sending confidential information to opposing counsel, who gave it to his client, who gave it to a newspaper. At least the opposing counsel didn't trick the bank attorney, right?
Email Fail 3.0
It's harder to believe that a BigLaw firm accidentally sent a confidential memo directly to the Wall Street Journal. The trick there would be avoiding professional liability.
It wasn't as bad as sending bank information, but still -- it was bad. The client was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.