In-person communications are still preferable to e-mail for gauging body language and emotions, says Don Lents, chairman of the law firm Bryan Cave. "You should never engage in a disagreement electronically," Mr. Lents says. "If you are going to disagree with somebody, you certainly don't want to do it by e-mail, and if possible you don't even want to do it by phone. You want to do it face to face."

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