Rules of professional conduct provide that lawyers should treat each other professionally and respectfully. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen and sometimes aggressive or demeaning correspondence is exchanged. The rule in litigation is of course, don’t draft anything that you don’t want the judge to see. Unfortunately in this NSW Supreme Court case a letter did come to the Judge’s attention, which led to the following comments:

23 AH’s letter adopted a tone that I regard as regrettable. For example, responding to observations PA had made about s 333(1) of the LPA, the letter said:

“There is no doubt that section 333(1) LPA is a fascinating section, capable of exciting the intellect and captivating the attention of the keen legal mind, and in any other circumstance we could find no fault with a lawyer who spent (as the author of the 12 November 2008 letter did) more than an A4 page discussing its intricacies, complete with underlinings for emphasis. If only the author of that analysis had not found subsection 333(1) so fascinating, there is a possibility that they may have read as far as section 333(3), which provides that ‘Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a sophisticated client’.”

If nothing else it’s professionally embarrassing to have this aired in public – I have no sympathy for the author!

The case concerned is Chameleon Mining NL v Atanaskovic Hartnell [2009] NSWSC 602

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