The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
I recently started collecting written professional “bloopers”, partly because it is crucial for legal professionals have excellent writing skills. Much like that intense wild-haired guy on the beach with his metal detector (sorry, Dad), who carefully sweeps the sand for buried Rolex watches but ends up unearthing mostly pop can tabs, I feel a bit of a (dorky) thrill when I stumble across the occasional unintended and sometimes alarming business communication.
For example, one of our workers’ compensation clients with an accepted claim was very upset about a letter he received from a medical provider’s patient billing office. The letter bluntly stated, “The administrator refuses to pay this account because it says the client is terminated.”
Our client’s first impression was that he had been fired from his job of many years with no notice from his employer. Then he wondered if someone was implying that he was dead. Either way, the letter understandably scared him.
In reality, the employer had terminated its relationship with the third party administrator. An added bonus for my blooper collection was that the letter author (first name changed for many reasons) had signed the letter: “Mary Collections.” Trust me, I called about the account, and that was not her last name.
Another recent piece of correspondence requested that the recipient “please bare with us” while the request was processed. On its face, that seemed to be a polite, if overly intimate request.
I also get a lot of correspondence which confirms that my requests have been “dually noted.” Does that mean that they have been noted twice?
And I bet I cannot find anyone in the legal profession who has not received written notice alleging that a “statue has expired.” Not to “beat a dead horse” but it was never alive. (I know. I can hear your collective groaning!)
If you have a favorite written professional “blooper” that you would like to share (without identifying or embarrassing the sender of course), please E-mail it to me. I will happily (and gleefully) update this post and give you credit for sharing.