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Taking out the heat

Ever find yourself in the middle of a tsunami of – someone else’s toxic correspondence?

You have choices.

Firstly, you can choose to ignore. You may think that the writer has issues which have nothing to do with you. Getting involved would be akin to wrestling with a pig.

You may, on the other hand, wish or need to respond.

If that’s the case, how you reply is important.

This is a link to an article I wrote for Legal Week titled, ‘Taking out the heat’, on the subject some time ago.

I am humbled and delighted that Gordon Exall KC refers to ‘Taking out the heat’ from time to time as cautionary advice. You can read Gordon’s much more substantive take on the matter of the importance of tone in correspondence here.

A while back, I was pottering in my shed when I received a phone call from a solicitor from a different part of the UK.

My use of the word, embroiled resonated with him.

He sounded as if fighting fire with fire was the practising culture in his jurisdiction.

Desperate, because of the toll it was taking on his health, he was asking me how to stop it.

In my experience, there is no correspondence that would not benefit from a pause prior to any reply.

But that’s easy for me to say, when I have the luxury of controlling my own volume and type of cases.

How do you deal with toxic correspondence?