Monday, August 31, 2009

The tool of the tool: The letter

I’ve noticed that many litigation attorneys do not like to have substantive discussions about anything if they are not in the presence of or physically present near a judge. These individuals do not like direct conversation or over the phone chit-chat. These people like screening their calls, using e-mail and the oft-maligned United States Postal Service (often in conjunction with a device known as a facsimile machine).

Now, after careful analysis, I realize that they fear delivering contrarian points of view outside of the controlled climes of the Courtroom. The people that follow the prose path to power rely on indirectly getting into arguments and directly avoiding any conflict:

How do you offer a settlement? E-mail a PDF File of a letter.

How do you set up a troublesome deposition? Fax a letter

How do you fire a client? Send a letter. Certified.
I am a litigation attorney which I believe means my very purpose is to jump into the mix and end up with a resolution for my client as quickly as possible. The pen-pal approach seems to take too much time and leads to prolonged nit-picking over mundane male cow dung.

To my various opposing counsel, don’t send me a letter. It just pisses me off. And nothing good happens for your client when I get pissed off.

When you have bad news to deliver, do the respectable, adult thing: have your paralegal call me.