More than once recently I have almost been taken to task by clients for telling them that I would contact another party's solicitor by email. Their response is “Why don’t you just phone him?”

First of all, I cannot guarantee that the other solicitor will be available. Secondly, once the conversation is over I have to spend time making a note of what was said. Thirdly, you cannot take a phone call to court, and a file note of what was said can be disputed at a later date.

An email will get through first time and composing it allows me to set the matter down in a concise form about which there can be no dubiety thereafter.

It is a reflection on modern life, where people spend so much time either speaking on their mobile phones or simply staring at them, that there is a belief that any problem can be solved simply by picking up the phone.

Even if we included something in our terms of business about email being the most efficient way of communicating with other solicitors, clients would probably not read that far. Maybe we should send them this important information in a brief text message so that it is readily digestible.

Ashley J Swanson, Aberdeen