Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There is a discussion in the office. One lawyer here puts "Personal and Confidential" on the envelopes of correspondence to clients. Another lawyer objects to this practice. "I've never seen a letter that came marked like that that had good news," the latter says. "Just seeing the letter in the mail bin sends a chill down my back." The lawyer who likes 'Personal and Confidential' rebuts: "I think it signals that the letter is important, and that it should only be opened by the person it is addressed to." "The mere fact that it is a lawyer letter accomplishes that," retorts Lawyer B. "Our letterhead doesn't say,'Attorneys at Law', Lawyer A responds, "It just says 'Altreuter Berlin'. "It is an inducement-- someone seeing 'Personal and Confidential' who might be inclined to open someone else's mail would be more inclined to open that letter."

And on. Finally I was asked to put the question to the readers of Outside Counsel. Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section so that we can move on and get some work done.

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