Look at your potential client’s email address before you respond.

Check the email addressIt was one of those “oh my God” moments where I realized I had just dodged a bullet.

A potential client had sent an email asking about a wrongful termination matter. We reject about 100 wrongful termination cases for every one we take, but this sounded like it might be the one. I wrote a reply to the potential client’s email, providing my thoughts on the pros and cons of the case, and was just about to hit send, when I looked at the sender’s email address.

She had sent it using her company email.

Yes, the client had sent me the facts of her wrongful termination from the company’s email. Like most employees, she probably has remote access to her email, and has probably come to think of that as “her” email address. Perhaps she had multiple email addresses on her home computer or smart phone and did not even know which account she was using.

Whatever the cause, what a great way to start a case – laying out your thoughts to the other side, while at the same time creating a legitimate basis for the termination, since undoubtedly the employer will have a policy against using company time and email for personal business.

So, before hitting send, look at the email address to which you are replying. If in doubt, and this might not be a bad idea in all cases, send an email that just asks the client if this is an email address for confidential communications.

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