Friday, December 31, 2010
Ever get a ridiculous letter from a lawyer trying to set you up? The world would be a better place if more people responded this way.
The following is from wikipedia. The story is true. The response is awesome. Arkell was actually a pututative plaintiff as no action was ever commenced.
"An unlikely piece of British legal history occurred in what is now referred to as "the case" of Arkell v. Pressdram (1971) (pronounced as "Arkell and Pressdram".) The plaintiff was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments, and the magazine had ample evidence to back up the article. Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter which concluded: "His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply". The magazine's response was, in full: "We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off."
At my previous firm we had a large rubber stamp that said "Bullsh*t" which we would use occasionally on letters and then send them back to oppiosing counsel.
Be prepared, however, for that letter to be attached as an exhibit to every pleading and motion in the case (and any others involving that lawyer) forever more as evidence of your "failure to meet and confer in good faith," so use it only when it really is appropriate.