Jeff Masters, ’16, a litigation associate at Dechert, and firm partner Gary Mennitt co-authored an article about legal questions surrounding email delivery that appeared in the New York Law Journal on July 14.
The article explores the evidentiary presumptions under federal common law that mail has been carried to its correct destination by postal couriers. The “mailbox rule” that dates back to an 1884 Supreme Court decision has been extended by contemporary trial courts pondering cases involving emails, the article said.
However, the authors note, email delivery is far from reliable, since messages may get caught in spam filters or lost through computer problems that prevent the receipt of emails.
The article concludes that “courts and legislatures will be called upon to consider and confront the issues of whether and how the mailbox rule and other evidentiary rules should apply to emails. Until these issues are resolved, the best practice for sending important documents is to send them via certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or via courier. If email is the only option, the email should be sent with a read receipt or a responsive email should be requested.”
Masters, an associate editor of the Drexel Law Review, graduated summa cum laude.