Legal Services' & Legislative Editors' E-mail Discussion Groups
Join the E-Mail Discussion Groups for Legislative Legal Services Staff
Do you have a question about how other states handle an issue or a problem you've encountered? Or maybe you just want to meet with your counterparts in other states. Whatever your reason, come join one or both of the LSSS e-mail discussion groups.
The Legal Services Listserv is for Legislative Lawyers, Bill Drafters and other legal professionals who want to network with others who may have dealt with similar issues. Typical questions are about drafting and litigation issues.
The Legislative Editors' Listserv is for legislative staff who edit bill drafts, amendments, and other legislative documents. Typical questions are about editing bill drafts, code publishing, and editing software.
How Does it Work?
It's called a "listserv" in e-mail parlance, and here's how it works. First, you subscribe to the e-mail list of your choice. Then, every e-mail you or any other subscriber sends to that list's address is automatically distributed to all subscribers. So, if you post a question, it will automatically be sent to every subcriber, and each subscriber's response will automatically be sent to every subscriber.
.How Do I Subscribe?
1) To join the Legal Services Listserv, send an e-mail to: Kae.Warnock@ncsl.org
To join the Legislative Editors' Listserv, send an e-mail to: Kae.Warnock@ncsl.org
Once we verify that you are a legislative staff member, you will receive a welcome message that provides instructions on how to send e-mail to the list. It's a good idea to save those instructions. If you have any questions or problems with the process, e-mail Kae Warnock, NCSL Liaison to the Legal Services Staff Section at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSSS List Serve Task Force was asked to come up with ways to improve the LSSS listservs, including making them a better tool for our members. The Task Force believes that having some etiquette for using the listservs would be beneficial.
The purpose of the etiquette is remind current and new members of the LSSS listservs about the mission of a listserv and to give members some advice about how to use this information tool without annoying fellow subscribers. The LSSS section exists for legislative staff involved in: bill drafting; legal research; statutory and administrative rule compilation and publication; administrative rules review; litigation; legislative editing and other legal services. The LSSS listservs are forums for legislative legal services staff to exchange information and ideas. This is an excellent place to ask questions about topics you have noticed in your state or to ask other colleagues how their state or their staff handles an issue or problem you've noticed. It is also a great way to get some quick responses on whether other states have a law on a particular topic.
Examples of e-mail discussions that have been posted on the Legal Services listserv:
- punitive damages and "loser pay" laws
- copyright of committee testimony
- lobbying prohibitions on legislators
- open meetings laws
- public school employees' right of representation in disciplinary meetings
- FMLA and legislative employees
- legislative intent statements
- how to define the term "internet"
- unauthorized practice of law by legislative staff
- ethics questions
- how to evaluate the writing abilities of prospective drafters
Examples of e-mail discussions that have been posted on the Legislative Editors' listserv:
- Arbortext Epic Editor
- process for drafting amendments
- responsibilities of editors
In using the listservs, we ask that participants follow this kind of etiquette:
- Introduce yourself when you first join the group.
- NEVER hit the reply button unless you intend for EVERYONE to read your message.
- Make sure to hit the reply button, rather than responding to an individual, if your response appears to be of general interest.
- If you would like others to respond to you directly please include your own personal email address.
- If you wish to e-mail an individual, compose a NEW MESSAGE that contains only that person's address.
- Stick to intended topics of the listserv.
- Keep messages brief.
- As a general rule, summarize the message you are responding to rather than including it in your message; however, if the posting is a series of questions in a survey form, it would be preferable to keep the original message and reply to each question presented.
- If your answer to a question is no, please respond only to the requester and not to the entire listserv. Often the requester does want to be aware of "no" responses but everyone else does not.
- Use the same subject line as the original query.
- Do not use capital letters in your e-mail for emphasis as that is considered to be the same as shouting. Instead, use an asterisk before and after the word or phrase you want to emphasize.
- Please don't send virus alerts or other alerts that do not pertain to LSSS.
- Please don't send jokes.
- Include an opening and a closing to your message.
If you are going to be out of the office for an extended period of time and use an automatic response to your messages that says you are out of the office, please check with your e-mail administrator as to how to modify that automatic response so that it does not go out to the rest of the listserv with every posting. For more information, contact: Kae Warnock , NCSL Staff Liaison.