Searchenginers
Search engines can help you find email addresses.

People such as you and I — we who spend many happy hours preparing to try and occasionally trying business lawsuits — often find ourselves needing, of all things, the email addresses of other people.

Think about it.  All but antediluvian lawyers, and pre-antediluvian clients, use email these days.  Witnesses send and receive it.  A great many probably overemploy it, preferring the cool distance of typing to the warmth of human interaction, the spontaneity of pounding out a message and hitting "send" to the less impulsive process of giving due thought to a writing that will likely outlive the author and may haunt him in the afterlife. 

In the context of commercial lawsuits, email inescapably is an important source of evidence and a near-essential means of communication.

So, you ask, what’s the big deal about knowing email addresses?  Why do you need them?

Thank you for inquiring.  Blawgletter can think of at least three reasons:

  1. The Internet, though otherwise brilliant, isn’t smart enough to deliver an email to an email address that doesn’t exist.  harry_potter@hogwarts.edu will not work if Hogwarts uses a different convention for individuals’ names (the "harry_potter" part) or for the domain name (the "hogwarts.edu" bit).  More on that below.
  2. Knowing the correct email address of a witness may help you search electronic files for relevant documents.  With so much discovery taking the form of electronically stored information, searching through millions of pages usually involves using key words.  An email address could be an important key word for these searches, not only when you look through the other side’s documents but also when you review your own client’s.  But, again, you need the address exactly right before it’ll do you much good.
  3. The email address may enable you to locate and learn about witnesses.  An increasing number of people nowadays have an electronic footprint.  They blog; they post personal data on MySpace, LinkedIn, FaceBook, and the other social and networking sites; an organization publishes PowerPoint presentations they gave; newspaper, newsletter, and magazine articles mention them; property, court, and appraisal records name them; and on and on.  Sometimes the email address will return the best search results; but harry_potter@hogwarts.edu , harry_potter, or even @hogwarts.edu plus "Harry Potter" are far more likely to yield the Harry Potter you want than Googling "Harry Potter".

You can probably imagine many more reasons to get the right email addresses of clients, lawyers, witnesses, and others.

But how do you actually obtain them?  Before we tell you, please recall that you swore an oath to use your knowledge and skills for good and not evil.

Very well then.  To get accurate email addresses for a specific individual, do this:

  1. Go to your favorite search engine.  Most people like Google.  Yahoo!, Dogpile, the search functions on web browsers such as Explorer, Safari, and Firefox, and other engines will work fine too.
  2. If you know where the person works or worked, search for for the employer’s name, go to its principal Internet site, and note the site’s domain name.  Here, hogwarts.edu.
  3. Next, search for the domain name — in our example, hogwarts.edu.  You may want to put the "@" at the front just in case the search engine recognizes that as a distinct character (something Google seems not to do).
  4. The search will probably return lots of responsive references, but you should look for ones that — Voilà! — include email addresses that use the domain name.  Note which protocol the email addresses use:  First name only (harry@hogwarts.edu)?  Just last name (potter@hogwarts.edu)?  First initial plus last name (hpotter@hogwarts.edu)?  First name plus last name  (harry.potter@hogwarts.edu, harry_potter@hogwarts.edu, or harry-potter@hogwarts.edu)?  Formal names (harold_potter@hogwarts.edu)?  Or some other variation?
  5. Now search for the domain name plus the person’s name.  If that doesn’t work, do a search for different possible variations of the actual email address using the protocol you discovered in step 4.  Should you learn from the search that Hogwarts assigned ron.weasley@hogwarts.edu to Harry Potter’s friend Ron Weasley, you might start by searching for harry.potter@hogwarts.edu.
  6. Should you still not have the email address, the final thing you can do is start sending emails to the email addresses that seem most likely in light of the protocol.  Again resorting to our example, we’d imagine that harry.potter@hogwarts.edu could make a good start.  If the email bounces back, read the error message in the bounceback alert.  If it says no such address exists, that likely means that you need to try another address, still using the protocol that Hogwarts typically uses.

These methods won’t always succeed of course.  Some organizations have firewalls and filters, for example, that don’t allow emails from addresses they don’t recognize as safe.  But we bet you’ll get decent results more often than not.

Happy hunting!

Feedicon Contingent business law.

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Photo of Barry Barnett Barry Barnett

Clients and colleagues call Barry Barnett an “incredibly gifted lawyer” (Chambers and Partners) who is “magic in the courtroom” (Who’s Who Legal), “the top antitrust lawyer in Texas” (Chambers and Partners), and “a person of unquestioned integrity” (David J. Beck, founder of Beck…

Clients and colleagues call Barry Barnett an “incredibly gifted lawyer” (Chambers and Partners) who is “magic in the courtroom” (Who’s Who Legal), “the top antitrust lawyer in Texas” (Chambers and Partners), and “a person of unquestioned integrity” (David J. Beck, founder of Beck Redden).

Barnett is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and Lawdragon has named him one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States three years in a row. Best Lawyers in America has honored him as “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2019 and 2017) and Patent Litigation (2020) in Houston. Based in Texas and New York, Barnett has tried complex business disputes across the United States.

TRIAL COUNSEL
Barnett’s background, training, and experience make him indispensable to his clients. The small-town son of a Texas roughneck and grandson of a Texas sharecropper, Barnett “developed an unusual common sense about people, their motivations, and their dilemmas,” according to former client Michael Lewis.

Barnett has been historically recognized for his effectiveness and judgment. His peers chose him, for example, to the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Law Institute. His decades of trial and appellate work representing both plaintiffs and defendants have made him a master strategist and nimble tactician in complex disputes.

Barnett focuses on enforcement of antitrust laws, the “Magna Carta of free enterprise,” in Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s memorable phrase. “Barry is one of the nation’s outstanding antitrust lawyers,” according to Joseph Goldberg, a member of the Private Antitrust Enforcement Hall of Fame. Named among Texas’s top ten antitrust lawyers of 2023, Business Today calls Barnett a “trailblazer” among the “distinguished legal minds” who “dedicate their skill and expertise to the maintenance of healthy competition in various sectors” of the Lone Star State’s booming economy. Barnett is also adept in energy and intellectual property matters and has battled for clients against a Who’s Who list of corporate behemoths, including Abbott Labs, Alcoa, Apple, AT&T, BlackBerry, Broadcom, Comcast, Dow, JPMorgan Chase, Samsung, and Visa.

Barnett commands a courtroom with calm and credibility and “is the perfect lawyer for bet the company litigation,” said Scott Regan, General Counsel of former client Whiting Petroleum. His performance before the Supreme Court in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend prompted the Court to withdraw the question on which it had granted review. The judge in a trial involving mobile phone technology called Barnett “one of the best” and that his opening statement the finest he had ever seen. Another trial judge told Barnett minutes after a jury returned a favorable verdict against the county’s biggest employer that he was one of the two best trial lawyers he’d ever come across—adding that the other one was dead.

COMPLETE PACKAGE
A versatile trial lawyer, Barnett knows how to handle a case all the way from strategic pre-suit planning to affirmance on appeal. He’s tried cases to verdict and then briefed and argued them when they went before appellate courts, including the Second, Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, and (in the case of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend) the Supreme Court of the United States.

Barnett is a sought-after public speaker, often serving on panels and talking about topics like the trials of antitrust class actions and techniques for streamlining complex litigation. He also comments on trends in commercial litigation and the implications of major rulings for outlets such as NPR, Reuters, Law360, Corporate Counsel, and The Dallas Morning News. He’s even appeared in a Frontline program about underfunding of state pensions, authored chapters on “Fee Arrangements” and “Techniques for Expediting and Streamlining Litigation” (the latter with Steve Susman) in the ABA’s definitive treatise on Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 5th, and commented on How Antitrust Enforcers Might Think Like Plaintiffs’ Lawyers.

HARD GRADERS
Clients and other hard graders have praised Barnett for his courtroom skills and legal acumen.

A client in a $100 million oil and gas case, which Barnett’s team won at trial and held on appeal, said Barnett and his team “presented a rare combination of strong legal intellect, common sense about right and wrong, and credibility in the courtroom.” David McCombs at Haynes and Boone said Barnett “has a natural presence that goes over well with juries and judges.”

Even former adversaries give Barnett high marks. Lead opposing counsel in a decade-long antitrust slugfest said “Barry is a highly skilled advocate. He understands what really matters in telling a narrative and does so in a very compelling manner.”

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Barnett relishes opportunities to collaborate with all kinds of people. At the Center for American and International Law (CAIL), founded by a former prosecutor at Nuremberg in 1947 and headquartered in the Dallas area, he has served on the Executive Committee, co-chaired the committee that produced CAIL’s first-ever strategic plan, supported CAIL’s Institute for Law Enforcement Administration and other development efforts, and proposed formation of a new Institute for Social Justice Law. CAIL’s former President David Beck said “Barry is extremely bright” and is “very well prepared in every lawsuit or professional task he undertakes.”

Barnett is also a Trustee of the New-York Historical Society, a Sterling Fellow at Yale, a member of the Yale University Art Gallery’s Governing Board, a winner of the Class Award for his work on behalf of his college class, and a proud contributor to the Yellow Ribbon Program at Harvard Law. Barnett’s pro bono work includes leading the trial team representing people who are at greatest risk of severe illness and death as a result of being exposed to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 while being detained in the Dallas County jail—work for which he received the NGAN Legal Advocacy Fund RBG Award.

At Susman Godfrey, Barnett has served on the firm’s Executive Committee, Employment Committee, and ad hoc committees on partner compensation, succession of leadership, and revision of the firm’s partnership agreement. He also twice chaired the Practice Development Committee.

KEEPING PERSPECTIVE
Barnett understands that clients face many pressures. Managing the stress is important, especially in matters that take years to resolve. He encourages clients to call him whenever they have a question or concern and to keep the inevitable ups and downs in perspective. He wants them to know that he will do his level best to help them achieve their goals. He also strives to foster trust and to make working with him a pleasure.

Cyrus “Skip” Marter, the General Counsel of Bonanza Creek in Denver and a former Susman Godfrey partner and client, said Barnett is “excellent about communicating with clients in a full and honest manner” and can “negotiate for his clients from a position of strength, because he is not afraid to take a case through a full trial on the merits.” Stacey Doré, the President of Hunt Utility Services and a former client, said that Barnett is “an excellent trial lawyer and the person you want to hire for your bet-the-company cases. He is client focused, responsive, and uniquely savvy about trial and settlement strategy.” A New York colleague said, “Barry is a joy to work with as co-counsel. He tackles complex procedural and factual hurdles capably, efficiently, and without drama.”

PERSONAL
Barnett’s wide-ranging experience and calm, down-to-earth approach enable him to connect with clients, judges, jurors, witnesses, and even opposing counsel. He grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas. He co-captained his high school varsity football team as an All-East Texas middle linebacker while also serving as the Editor of Key Club’s Texas-Oklahoma District, won the Best Typist award, took the History Team to glory, and sang in the East Texas All Region Choir. As Dan Kelly of client Vistra Corp. put it, Barnett is “a great person to be around.”

Barnett is steady and loyal. He has practiced at Susman Godfrey his entire career. He and his wife Nancy live in Dallas and enjoy spending time in Houston and New York. Their daughter works for H-E-B in Houston, and their son is a Haynes and Boone transactions lawyer in Dallas.

As a member of Ivy League championship football teams in his junior and senior years at Yale and a parent of two Yalies, Barnett has no trouble choosing sides for “The Game” in November. And he knows how important fighting all the way to the end is. On his last play from scrimmage, in the waning minutes of The Game on Nov. 22, 1980, he recovered a Crimson fumble.

Yale won, 14-0.