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Well now, litigants in person (LiPs). We’ve got the name sorted out, thanks to the Master of the Rolls, March 2013. The next question is how we communicate with a LiP.
My caseload has always had a fair sprinkling of LiPs. When I was thinking about how to put across my views for your edification, I also had a read again of the Law Society Practice Note on dealing with LiPs. I think the basic rule when a LiP is your opposite number can be condensed to this: be kind and play fair. That’s all a bit touchy-feely, I am sure some of you are thinking. Hang on in there with me.
Whether you’re dealing with a LiP or another solicitor, the aim surely is to resolve your client’s case and allow them to move forward, feeling that they have been fairly treated. I think if you can be polite/kind with a LiP, you will achieve your aim far better than if you try and score points or allow yourself to get side tracked into the irrelevant side channels. You will also exit your client’s life without having trampled any possibility of a working relationship between your client and their ex. We are only in our client’s lives for a short period of time. Sometimes, we forget to think about what our client will be left with after we are done. I am not suggesting you should get everyone round the camp fire singing Kumbaya, but it really does not hurt to be court
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