This Note argues that courts should find that notice by e-mail satisfies the standards of due process that the United States Supreme Court has developed for class action notice. First, this Note establishes that e-mail is a form of individual notice, as required by Eisen v. Carlisle & Jacquelin. Second, this Note shows that e-mail notice is "reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action" and "reasonably certain to inform those affected" as required by Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co. Third, this Note contends that due process is a flexible concept that allows for considerable judicial discretion, which allows room for new methods of transmitting notice. Fourth, this Note argues that e-mail is comparable to first-class mail, which is widely accepted as satisfying due process requirements. Although e-mail and traditional mail are different in some respects, this note demonstrates that the differences: (1) are irrelevant for purposes of due process, (2) are small enough that the broad due process standards set forth by the Supreme Court are not violated, or (3) will diminish as e-mail technology improves. Finally, this Note maintains that, from a policy standpoint, e-mail notice may actually be better than notice by traditional mail.
Note, E-mail: A Constitutional (and Economical) Method of Transmitting Class Action Notice, 47 Clev. St. L. Rev. 87 (1999)