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Jun 10, at 4: First, where I learned how to deal with these self-important blowhards. When I was a young lawyer, I had the opportunity to work on a case where a well-known securities lawyer was involved — he was on our side. I went to see him at his New York office, and after an all-day session with the client, he invited me to dinner.
See what I did there? My friend responded with a letter of his own. It was two words: One, there is no requirement that your response be as wordy as the initial screed of threats and demands.
Two, there is no need to respond in detail to bluster, regardless of who is blustering. I read every email with this question in mind: Clients can be stressful, but what I hear often is lawyers stressing about their dealings with opposing counsel. My question is, why do you engage these idiots at their level?
He used all the buzz words and phrases: Someone else called me a few weeks later and we worked it all out. Lawyers often ask how to deal with these types of chest-beaters.
The problem is that they are looking for a way to respond on the same level. When someone is yelling, be quiet. When someone threatens, ignore. The problem is that lawyers who spend their days making threats and demands are used to invoking a response. Judges set deadlines; lawyers can ask me if I agree to their request for a date to respond.
No emails, no faxed letters, no three-page response to his three-page demand letter. While I know that a. Someone writes a letter, you write back. Someone threatens, you threaten back. Someone raises their voice, you speak louder. Why are you doing this? What are you accomplishing?
A few years ago, a lawyer set a hearing without contacting me. We settled the case and have remained friends ever since. When people are trying to invoke a response from you, the worst thing you can do is respond.
He can be reached at bt tannebaumweiss.Dealing with Difficult Opposing Counsel Our host Sean Harris sits down with Columbus attorney Scott Bowman to discuss the different types of difficult opposing counsel and how to deal with their behavior.
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