June 21, 2024


Law for politics

Email Signature Netiquette

Have you ever received an email message with an email signature that contains a whole lot of legal mumbo jumbo. They went to law school just to write that. The lawyers take their jobs way to seriously if they think that it is stealing because I sent a mothers day e-card to my mom from work, but that is what most of them say. These lawyers don’t know what they are talking about and the law has yet to decide. They don’t know netiquette.

There are many different types of email signatures. They range from highly professional legal contracts to informal endings. A basic signature includes your first and last name, phone number, and return email address. Anything more is sophisticated. Anything less is informal. Professional, promotional, and other types of signatures may require more information depending on the situation.

Every email should contain a signature, it’s like a contract. An email is not valid unless there is a complete signature. A signature gives it credibility and allows you to promote yourself or your business.

A signature provides the recipient with your contact information, meaning you stand behind your word. If there are any questions the recipient can contact you with the information you provided in the signature. In addition, it is a great opportunity to promote yourself or your business by adding links to your social media profiles, websites, and business.

A valid email signature includes your name, email, business, phone number, and website (if you have one). Your mailing address is optional. Do not use multiple email addresses or phone numbers in your signature because it makes it harder to reach you not easier since the recipient has to guess which one to use.

The text of a signature shall be no longer than four lines for proper email netiquette. Do not use a vCard attachment for a signature because they are not universally accepted. Use a block of text no longer than four lines.

All signatures do not have to be the same. In fact, it is good netiquette to use different signatures for different reasons. For example, it is good netiquette to use a two line signature in email replies since you know the recipient has your contact information since you are responding to them. Use an appropriate signature for the situation.

This brings us to legal disclaimers and confidentiality clauses. Please be advised that disclaimers and confidentiality clauses are not necessary unless required by law or you are protecting intellectual property.

For example:

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail transmission (and/or the attachments accompanying it) may contain confidential information belonging to the sender which is protected by copyright and privacy laws. The information is intended only for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. Any unauthorized interception of this transmission is illegal. If you have received this transmission in error, please promptly notify the sender by reply e-mail, and then destroy all copies of the transmission.

RS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with recently enacted U.S. Treasury Department regulations, we hereby advise you that, unless otherwise expressly stated, any and all tax advice contained in this communication has neither been written nor intended by the sender or this firm for the use of any taxpayer for the purpose of evading or avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed pursuant to U.S. law.  Furthermore, unless otherwise expressly indicated, the use of any tax advice contained in this communication has neither been written nor intended by the sender or this firm for the purpose of promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any taxpayer, and such taxpayer should seek advice on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax adviser.