A posturing attorney introduced me to a technique I had not yet experienced.
Yesterday, I served an anti-SLAPP motion on the two attorneys listed on the complaint. This morning I received an email from one of those attorneys, acknowledging receipt of the motion, and asking that I change our proof of service going forward. He asked me to add six more attorneys to the proof, all from the same firm.
I don’t like to come right out of the gate being obstructive. Doing so can create an unnecessarily adversarial atmosphere for the entire action. But I found the request to be entirely unreasonable. I can certainly understand that any firm would want to afford every attorney, paralegal, and secretary there the opportunity to read my prose, but that should be handled on their end, perhaps with some distribution list entitled, “This Guy Writes Like Shakespeare.” Unless you intend to list all eight attorneys on the pleadings, I don’t think it is my task to serve everyone you think might be interested.
It was clear to me that this was a form of posturing, as in:
“You better be worried. We’ve assigned eight attorneys to this matter; ready to jump on anything you send. That anti-SLAPP motion you served? We all laughed at your anti-SLAPP motion. We fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”
Perhaps I read too much into the request, but I don’t think so.
And as I have written many times, posturing often just comes back to humiliate you. Within five minutes of my email, opposing counsel called with a contrite tone. He asked if we would agree to continue the hearing on the motion to some later date. As it turns out, in the couple of hours between the “please add our entire firm to the proof of service” email, and the receipt of my response, the firm decided to fire the client. The requested continuance was being sought in order to afford the client some additional time to find new counsel.
What could have possibly occurred during those couple of hours? Mayhap they read the motion? Or perhaps the client wasn’t too happy with his case being staffed by eight attorneys.