Giving formal notices by email raises legal issues

John Gregory has a good post on Slaw talking about a recent English case that considered when an email is received for the purpose of accepting an offer of a contract. In some ways, it seems odd to discuss notices by email in a time where we talk about service of court documents by facebook and twitter.

But there are some real practical issues to consider when determining when an email is actually or deemed to have been received.  The date and timing can lead to major consequences for things like contract formation or termination.

For example, what if the email gets caught in a spam filter? What if the recipient doesn't check their email?  What if the email address is no longer in use?  Does it make a difference if the recipient carries a smartphone after business hours?

When entering a contract that has a notice provision - don't just add email (or facebook or twitter) to the list of acceptable notice requirements without putting some thought into these issues.