As a business broker, we work with lawyers all the time who are writing purchase and sale agreements. And, like all occupations, there are all kinds that we work with. But, the one thing that attorneys have in common is a very inefficent and outdated system for communicating with each other. Today, we had a purchase and sale agreement signed after three months of work by the attorneys. We have another deal where emails are lost between the attorneys regularly and both are frequently waiting for the other to respond.
What are the problems? First, email is a problem As we all know, not all of them reach their destination. Using read receipts is difficult. With all the emails most of us send everyday, who could keep track of the read receipts for all of them? How do we know all of our emails are delivered? Most of us just wait for a response. If we don't get one within the time we expect, we are likely to resend the email. This is not a particularly good system. My impression is that lawyers are much less likely than most people to contact the other attorney when they don't get a response. Don't ask me why. That leads to the second major problem. Who is supposed to respond? Many times, both attorneys, working on a deal, are waiting to hear from the other attorney.
Attorneys need a better system. I'm going to describe what's needed. If anyone reading this blog knows of the software, please let me know. I want to recommend it to the attorneys I know. First, how about automated read receipts? If you send an email, the system notifies you if it doesn't receive a read receipt within a specific period of time. Second idea: a communication system that makes it specific who is supposed to be responding on a particular document that two attorneys are working on. Makes sense to me. Both of these should integrate with Outlook. Another requirement these emails should have is security so the work remains confidential.
Like I wrote, if you know of a system that will do this, let me know. If not, please pass this idea on to a software developer who could win a prize for making the life of business brokers a lot easier.