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Alternative universe: transacting with litigants in person

The anger unleashed by unrepresented litigants is causing tension that is increasingly testing the limits of lawyers’ professional skillsets, says Alan Larkin

8 May 2019

There is a growing focus on the promises or threats of technology on the legal profession but many lawyers at the family law coalface may feel more immediately impacted by the growth of litigants in person (LIPs).

A colleague received an email from a LIP last week. The expletives were par for the course but the incessant hostility becomes hard to bear.

The comments increasingly directed at the lawyer rather than the client or the issues in the case. 

This is not new, but the frequency with which we find ourselves dealing with LIPs has increased post-LASPO. 

Although it is only an observation without any evidential backing I would suggest that the hostility dial seems to have been turned up since that referendum in 2016.

Lawyers are experts after all. Allied to which, the erosion of civility on social media has infected communications generally.

Don’t waste time telling a LIP that we don’t make these processes and rules. All t...

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