“I want you to tell her…” Understanding why your lawyer just isn’t that angry

“I want you to tell her…” Understanding why your lawyer just isn’t that angry

As family lawyers we know that separating from your partner can be one of the most stressful periods in your life. You may be feeling hurt, betrayed and perhaps even angry. 

As your lawyer part of our job is to provide a necessary barrier between you and your ex-partner so that your family law dispute can be resolved as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Occasionally our clients instruct us to send letters which are overly emotional and unhelpful to their case. It’s our view that it is not in our clients’ interests to engage in such correspondence, even if they #reallyreallyreally want us to.

The recent decision of Simic and Norton [2017] FamCA 1007 delivered by Justice Benjamin has highlighted the need for lawyers to remain objective, noting that “solicitors are not employed to act as ‘postmen’ to vent the anger and vitriol of their clients”.

Whilst this judgment is most commonly cited in relation to extortionate legal costs, it’s important to recognise that His Honour was particularly scathing of solicitors who send unfiltered and unnecessary correspondence.

We know that you’re passionate about your matter, and we are too, but what this means on a practical level is that prior to your solicitor sending correspondence, he or she has a professional obligation to stop and consider whether or not it is “necessary, balanced, considered and relevant”.  

We are here to protect you. Aggressively litigating your matter through reams of correspondence is unlikely to resolve your matter; will quickly run up your legal fees and will ultimately leave you open to immense criticism if your matter comes before the Court.

Sometimes going to Court is unavoidable however here at Merridy Elphick Lawyers we are strong proponents of alternative dispute resolution and we would love to talk with you about the ways in which we can help you deescalate your conflict.