The Right Way to Email a Judge

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The Right Way to Email a Judge

Guest Blogger Karen Thalacker has some good tips about the most effective ways to email judges.


Every once in a while, it may be necessary for you to email a judge.  What you say and how you say it is important not only to your relationship with the judge but also your relationship with opposing counsel.

Here are 3 suggestions for what to do when emailing the judge.

  1. Include the case name, case number and county or jurisdiction in the subject line. Judges deal with dozens of cases each day so make it easy for him or her to locate your case.
  2. Start the email with a respectful greeting, like “Good morning, Your Honor” or “Dear Judge Jones.” Be concise and professional. State right away what the purpose of your email is.
  3. Because of the danger of ex parte communication, get permission from the other attorney prior to contacting the judge and specifically state that you have done so in your email.

And one last thing, your emergency is not the judge’s emergency.  Don’t expect or demand that the judge respond to your email right away.  You don’t want your impatience to be misinterpreted as disrespect.

By |2018-09-25T11:20:15-06:00September 25th, 2018|Managing Your Practice, Young Lawyers' Corner|0 Comments

Authored by:

Karen Thalacker

Karen is a graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, and Drake University Law School in Des Moines, IA. She began her legal career as a prosecutor before entering private practice. For over 20 years, her practice has focused on family law and general practice. Karen is trained in Collaborative Law and also acts as a parenting coordinator for high conflict parents. Since 2009, Karen has served as a judicial magistrate in Iowa. She is also the Chief Compliance Officer and pre-law advisor at Wartburg College. Karen is the author of “The New Lawyer’s Handbook: 101 Things They Don’t Teach You in Law School” and also two knitting books for children. Her commentaries and guest opinions have appeared in the Huffington Post and the Des Moines Register. She and her husband Pete have 4 children.