In a highly emotional and potentially adversarial area of law such as family law, a practitioner is often faced (almost daily?) with vulnerable clients who feel threatened or aggrieved…or both. These emotions can manifest themselves in heightened states of defensiveness or aggression. It is our job to move beyond these emotions and focus on their long term best interests and determine how we can best protect those interests for them.

This situation can be exacerbated by receipt of (our perceived?) aggressive or hostile correspondence from fellow practitioners on behalf of other clients.

When we receive such communications, I believe we best serve our clients by resisting the temptation to respond in kind.  If we do, we simply descend into (and potentially further increase) the emotional conflict that exists between the clients already. We do little to resolve the issues that must be addressed.

In short, when your blood boils, do not respond.

One easy and practical step to avoid the above is to draft your emotionally charged, blood boiled reply then save it rather than send it. Read it back to yourself the following day. One can be surprised at how one can be. I am surprised at how much more effective and constructive my post 24-hour reply is when compared to my initial reply.

I believe our role is to resolve issues for our clients. Throwing ourselves blindly into a battle seems to do little to achieve this.