Sorry for the vagueness of this post. I think I was throwing the hook in the water with no bait on it to see what would appear showing my frustration. It occurred to me after this post that the request that comes in via the web service is persisted to the database (postgres) via EntityManager, then the information is pushed to a mainframe, then the response from the mainframe is updated to the database and returned to the client. So this whole transactional flow was disrupted when I tried to email (some alert because who knows how that legacy system is going to respond). Hibernate had its grip on the request object and threw all sorts of transaction errors when I tried to send and email. So I put the alert on a JMS queue spawning an asynchronous thread to take care of the notification. Response time is a huge requirement from the client and this pulled it out of the "flow". Again sorry for the lack of information.