How attorneys can treat their worst email addictions

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This week: Apple settles a class action suit about their slow iPhones, how to limit your time spent on email (seriously) and what GC’s should do to prepare their companies for the coronavirus.

📱 There’s (almost) legal proof Apple slows down iPhones to get people to buy new ones

We’ve all heard the claim that iPhones get slower when new software and new models come on the market. Could it be true? Well, Apple just reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit that will pay $500 million to iPhone users who believe they were bamboozled.

  • Apple has been a litigation magnet since December 2017: That was when Apple admitted to using software updates to slow down older phones. But the company said it slowed them down to protect people’s batteries.
  • Dozens of customers filed lawsuits: They were combined into the class action effort. The total number of suits filed was three times more than Apple had faced from customers in the past over iPhone issues, and legal analysts described the amount as highly atypical.
  • iPhone users will get as much as $25 per device: Affected devices include the SE and various models of the 6 and 7 purchased before Dec. 21, 2017. The payout will vary depending on how many people try to collect.

But Apple didn’t admit guilt in the lawsuit

In court records, according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple claimed to have reached the settlement to avoid high legal costs and litigation.

The Verdict

Apple likely won’t face any more repercussions from potentially slowing down its phones anytime soon. Its bigger legal problems involve an SEC investigation and European privacy laws.

📧 How to be a lawyer…and not be addicted to email

Is the impossible actually possible? Can an attorney have a work-life balance that doesn’t include checking email at all hours of the day and night? Maybe! At the least, these tips from LegalTech News may help you cut back on your worst email habits.

  1. Email triage: When you’re back in the office in the morning, set up a specific allotment of time that you’ll check emails you received while you were out of the office. When time runs out, move on to another task.
  2. Use automated responses for more than just being out of office: A good way to keep needy clients in the loop without being on email 24/7 is to have an automated response that notifies people of the scheduled times that you check emails.
  3. Talk to your colleagues: Instead of sending internal emails, walk to a co-worker’s desk or make a phone call. And if you’re a veteran lawyer, especially stress this to younger lawyers getting started in their careers.
  4. If phone calls get overwhelming: Set up Google Voice or a similar software for client calls that allows you to have a call forwarding service at times you can’t talk.

💡 How GC’s can prep their company for coronavirus

Coronavirus has spread to America and dozens of countries, and health experts say its impact will continue to increase. As a general counsel, lawyer and consultant Olga V. Mack explains how you can help ensure the workers at your company don’t panic and, if the virus spreads, how you can best manage the business.

Keep people informed

It is often the general counsel’s job to interpret and share information from public health governing bodies. Here is where you can find the latest from the CDC.

Remember the force majeure clause

The force majeure clause can allow a party in a contract to suspend or cancel its obligations based on certain circumstances. GC’s may need to analyze and interpret these kinds of clauses in the event of coronavirus emergencies.

Make sure the right policies are in place for remote work 

If the coronavirus threat becomes more severe, people may need to work from home or take extended leave. These policies should be updated in advance and made clear to employees.

What else we’re forwarding

Is tech for Bernie?: Many tech executives, who often favor Democrats, are expressing little support for Bernie Sanders. But rank-and-file employees, even at the Big Tech companies Sanders has threatened to break up, are on team Bernie.

Unions want legal scrutiny for Amazon: Congress has a new ally in its investigation into whether Amazon is violating antitrust laws. Major unions, representing 5 million workers, released a 28-page document alleging anticompetitive behavior.

Let’s discuss

Open thread: What are your best tips for managing email?

Do you only check during certain hours? Do you pull a Mark Cuban and respond with one word to everything? Let us know!