“If it were possible, I would consider giving a direction that each side take a step back and a cold shower and then resume the civilised preparation of the litigation.”
This comes from a judgment handed down on 8 June, in which two law firms were hit hard by Justice McDougall of the NSW Supreme Court.
It is a colourful judgment and well worth a read:
(a) it starts with “If this were a tale written by Beatrix Potter, it might be entitled ‘The Tale of Tempestuous Teacup'”;
(b) it blames ego over reason; and
(c) His Honour says that “each party has been keen to throw epistolary grenades at the other”.
The whole case boiled down to a law firm (the Defendant), who was represented by another law firm, had been communicating with a third law firms client (the Plaintiff) in relation to unpaid legal fees.
The Plaintiff was already suing the Defendant for alleged negligence in failing to prevent the misappropriation of client monies in the Defendant’s law practice trust account.
I suspect this matter will go on for along time yet.
Moral: Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment, act with reason and put your client’s commercial resolution at the heart of what you do.