Thursday, February 17, 2005

Love Those Lawyers 

Lawyers have more fun than PR practitioners. They can write scathing letters even when they give up a fight. PR practitioners usually have to make nice.

This thought occurred to me because a while ago, we were helping a client publicize something. Suddenly from nowhere an individual popped up and claimed the client had stolen his ideas. Not only did this fellow make the charge, he sent faxes to the firm's clients and others stating the client was a thief. This, of course, upset the client who immediately called his lawyers. His lawyers researched the topic and concluded the fellow had no case. Moreover the fellow's insistence and faxes had damaged the client's reputation. My client's lawyers sent a stiff letter to the fellow, demanding a retraction and a list of everyone whom the client faxed.

So how did it turn out?

The fellow's lawyer sent a wonderfully written letter that claimed our client's letter was "replete with rhetorical flourishes, overstatement and unsubstantiated claims of damage." He then repeats the charges against my client. However, here's the funny part. The lawyer writes that the two parties could litigate or compete against each other, and it was the lawyer's advice that they compete. Huh, what?

Let's see. The lawyer sends a "Dear Sir, you cur" letter but in the end says let's forget the whole thing. Nifty. You get to have it both ways. I wish we could write like that once in awhile just for the fun of it.

But, we're too civilized.


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