Bar Rules

Standing Executive Committee Policy 500 (Fax and E-mail Policy)

Organization of the State Bar & Admissions / Standing Executive Committee Policy 500 (Fax and E-mail Policy)

Faxes and E-mails To Members (Adopted August 22, 2003)

Purpose

It is important for the members of the Bar to be informed about matters relating to the judicial system and legal profession. To that end, the State Bar should provide efficient and effective communication with Georgia lawyers. At the same time, it is recognized that unnecessary or unwanted communications, especially blast faxes and e-mails, have a long-term adverse impact on effective communication. Therefore, this policy is designed to enhance communication by authorizing the use of faxes and e-mails for important information with appropriate limits on frequency and content. It is also intended to maintain compliance with Federal and state laws governing blast faxes and e-mails.

Authorized Communications

  1. All Blast faxes are prohibited.
  2. E-mails are authorized as limited by this policy.
  3. All communications shall be for the lawful purpose of the State Bar of Georgia.

Authorized Users

  1. Supreme Court of Georgia, for any communication to all members;
  2. Court of Appeals of Georgia, for any communication to all members;
  3. State Bar President, for limited, significant Bar related matters to all members;
  4. YLD President, for limited, significant YLD related matters to YLD members;
  5. Board of Governors members, for communications with their Circuit's members;

    (In circuits which have two or more representatives on the Board, each communication shall reflect the view of the majority of the representatives. The intent is for a limited number of e-mails from the circuit's representatives as a group rather than multiple e-mails from individual Board members. If the members of a circuit are evenly divided with no majority viewpoint, no e-mail should be sent. The Board members in each circuit may accomplish this by jointly prepared e-mails, by electing a single spokesperson for the group, or by any other method of their choice that accomplishes the intent of this policy.)
  6. State Bar Sections and Committees, for communications from Section leaders with their Section members, but not for soliciting new members; and Committee chairs with their committee members;
  7. Candidates for State Bar elected positions, for Officers of the State Bar or YLD, Executive Committee members, and ABA delegates (limited to contested races and no more than two (2) e-mails per election);
  8. State Bar committees and State Bar staff, for approved communications related to Bar elections;
  9. Administrative Office of the Courts, for use by individual courts to communicate with the lawyers practicing in the courts; and
  10. Others, as approved by the Executive Committee for limited, urgent uses.

All Users Must

  1. Not sell, give or otherwise redistribute the e-mail addresses of the members;
  2. Use format that eliminates downloading of data;
  3. Use only for officially authorized Bar or judicial purpose;
  4. Not be used for private, commercial purposes; and
  5. Allow recipients to be removed from list.

Standards

  1. The subject line will include enough information so recipients can quickly determine if they want to delete the message without opening it. One subject per message is preferred.
  2. The message will be brief, sometimes including instructions on where to get additional information. When applicable, web links may be included.
  3. Attachments in the form of links to PDFs may or may not be included, depending on their number and size.
  4. Each e-mail message will include unsubscribe or opt out instructions. If a member opts out of receiving e-mail messages, all e-mail communications from all entities, including the State Bar, will stop. There may not be a way to selectively opt out receiving e-mails from any particular entity. This is especially important and should be noted in the opt out instructions.

Process

  1. With the exception of State Bar election e-mails, broadcast e-mail messages are coordinated centrally by the Communications Department and are not to be sent by individuals, departments or entities. Because most e-mails are time sensitive, all participants in this process shall cooperate to perform their duties in a timely manner.
  2. With the exception of State Bar election e-mails, the entity wishing to send an e-mail message drafts the message and submits it to the Chief Operating Officer for approval. The President and Executive Director are available for discussion when deemed appropriate by the Chief Operating Officer.
  3. The Chief Operating Officer-approved e-mail message is sent to the Communications Director and to Bar Counsel. After reviewing the e-mail for compliance with law and State Bar rules/policies, Bar Counsel will advise the Communications Director of its findings.
  4. With the exception of State Bar election e-mails, the finalized e-mail message and all related information are sent to the Communications Department for distribution to the list.
  5. The Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer are copied on all fax and e-mail messages. The person(s) initiating the e-mail request is also copied.
  6. All e-mails related to State Bar elections are processed and approved by the Membership Department in accordance with the direction of the Elections Committee.

Note:  Due to anti-spam measures and other e-mail filtering software utilized by our membership, Internet Service Providers (ISP's), and the various data communications equipment which provides the routing of all equipment internet-related traffic, the State Bar cannot guarantee that every recipient listed in its e-mail address database will successfully receive the e-mail message instituted with the blast e-mail procedures specified above.



GO TO Standing Executive Committee Policy 400 (Appointments to Bench and Bar Cmte.)
GO TO Standing Executive Committee Policy 600 (Establishment of Website)
Return to handbook browser.