“CAN SOLICITORS BE RUDE IN THEIR CORRESPONDENCE TO THE OPPOSING CLIENT”? A RECAP OF ADVICE ON CONDUCT AND COURTESY

“Can solicitors be rude in their correspondence to the opposing client.” This was a search term that led someone to this blog earlier today.  We don’t know whether this search was  from a solicitor proposing to be rude, or the recipient of a letter thought to be offensive.  This question of courtesy (or at least the absence of rudeness) in correspondence is an issue has been discussed several times on this blog. Every sensible person cautions against rudeness.   Never one to waste an opportunity to recap, here is a reminder of previous advice.

 

ADVICE FROM THE FOLKS ON LEGAL TWITTER

 

99% of all correspondence should be met with nothing more than “thank you for your letter, the contents of which are noted”. Anything else is superfluous and pointless out-of-court moaning

“I have your letter dated x” is quite sufficient. And aggression etc never has to be met with a ‘thank you’.

My colleagues know that things are bad if I am surprised. If I am disappointed that is really seriously bad.

“ Dear Sirs, we are surprised to note that you….” “Dear Sirs, we are surprised by your surprise….”

Am I allowed to keep *your client’s defence is a tissue of lies*?

2 weeks ago was able to draft a letter that included: “We acknowledge receipt of your letter which was expected as Mr X was discussing the same loudly on the telephone on the train from London to Manchester on Wednesday”

I was once on a train and could hear two fellow lawyers discussing very loudly the mediation they were about to attend. I learnt all about the case!

The greatest piece of legal correspondence ever written : 

I once had someone complain to the firm I worked for, because I provided our counsel with an authority that showed they weren’t allowed to rely on WP correspondence

It was an ET costs hearing and wasn’t marked WPSATC.

 Lawyers are intelligent people, they know what it  means when you just leave off the kind and sign only regards. They know.

“With respect…”

Trying to explain these subtle passive aggressive coded snipes to a non native English speaker has made me more aware how mad it all is.