Using standard email to deliver legal notices presents challenges. Sending by Registered Email™ services overcomes these challenges, simply.
Common email misconceptions highlight the challenges with using standard email for email of consequence, in particular when the sender cannot be sure the recipient will confirm receipt.
- Printed email: A printed email (from a sent folder, inbox, or archive) may be denied admission into evidence in court by simply challenging content authenticity, time of sending, or whether the email was delivered at all. Because anything in a standard email can be easily changed, the receiving party can claim the sending party altered the email.
- Email copy: A copy of an email sent to yourself or another person has no bearing on whether a copy was also delivered to your intended recipient. Email systems are often configured so that internal copies never even reach the Internet and are simply moved from one file directory to another on the sender’s server.
- Electronic archive: Electronically stored copies of email in an archive of the sender or recipient provide only a record of what the archiving party claims happened. Even if the archiving party can forensically prove the authenticity of the content in their archive, they will be unable to prove (a) delivery or timing of receipt if the recipient claims not to have received it, or (b) the authenticity of the sender if the receiver claims to have received a certain email. For example, it’s easy for a receiver to create a false email from a sender.
- Bounce notices: Reliance on bounce notices provides a false sense of security, as most recipient servers turn off bounce notices due to “Directory Harvest Attacks” and “Backscatter Blacklisting” concerns. So senders who do NOT receive a bounce notice cannot rely on that to demonstrate successful delivery.
- Denial of email reception: IT departments often overlook the complexity of “packaging” one’s evidence for presentation to other parties. Importantly, if there is a dispute, how does one present the information to the arbitrator, mediator, judge or jury? How does one show that what has been produced is an authentic Internet record with precise content and uniform times of sending and receiving? Litigators can simply point to public research and claim their clients never received the email or request the sender to authenticate that the email was in fact received, what the received content said, and when it was received. For example, Ferris Research, a leading messaging analyst, reports, “3% of non-bulk, business-to-business Internet email goes undelivered to its intended recipient.” How do you prove that your critical email notification was not within the 3%?