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Lawyers have recalled their favourite typos which transformed mundane documents into smutty confessions, insults, and nonsense.

The disclosures on the RollOnFriday Discussion Board were prompted by a recent story about a partner who warned his staff not to make mistakes in an email which was itself laden with errors.

A solicitor said his top pick was a letter from another firm which described the matter at stake as a "2.5 acre shite at Melrose".

Other lawyers recalled emails stating, "I know you are very busty", "Please poop into my office", "I enclose a daft coypu for your review", and, "Thank you for sending over the draft at such short notice. We will review it tonight and come on it in the course of tomorrow".

One solicitor said he took pity on his opposition when they referred to their client's "loss of her night shits" in her claim form, and telephoned to advise them that it "might be an idea to add an 'f' before sending it in the trial bundle".

Highlights cited by lawyers included:

  • a company described as being "Incorporated under the jaws of the Cayman Islands"
  • the suggestion that "this matter is suitable for medication"
  • 20 debt claims addressed to "Birmingham Cunty Court"
  • At the end of an email "riddled with errors of grammar, punctuation, law and fact", the invitation to "please call me if you wish to discuss father".

Some mistakes were more deliberate than others. A poster on the Discussion Board admitted sending German counsel a letter in September 2001 which stated in "in tiny leetle letters" in the footer, "england5germany1". 

A senior associate went to more extreme lengths and typed 'C**T' (without the asterisks) in giant letters across emails to opposing counsel, selecting a white font to ensure invisibility. Disaster struck when the matter unexpectedly became contentious and "somehow the text became visible during disclosure". "Words were had", but the culprit is now a partner - albeit at a different firm.

It appears some departments aren’t above a tactical typo. A lawyer described "a standing order in our property team that whenever writing to a certain partner at a rival firm, the letter had to be signed off, 'We look forward to hearing from you shorty'. Apparently it used to wind him up massively".

However, unintentional rudeness was more common. One lawyer said he never heard back from a senior credit officer called Angus when, "as a very fresh faced junior, I wrote an email (cc'd to plenty)", which began, "Dear Anus".

Other instances of document disaster included the lawyer whose spell check automatically amended the request, "Ask Leslina Jones to join us", to, "Ask lesbian Jones to join us" (not her actual surname), and the solicitor cited in the Law Gazette whose secretary corrected 'ipso facto' to the far more direct, "if so, fatso". 


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Comments

Annoymice 05 November 21 08:43

FINALLY! RoF returns to funny and lighthearted stories. The reason why we all used to love RoF is articles like this. 

There used to be so many funny Trainee moments - please bring those articles back. 

ClareW 05 November 21 08:50

An opponent’s statement of truth made me cackle like a witch one day. ‘I believe that the facts stated in tits defence are true”.

AbsurdinessBrown 05 November 21 08:53

If you haven't discreetly shat under a partner's desk before leaving a firm you're not a real solicitor. 

anon 05 November 21 09:17

I've never actually sent it but I have written 'reasonable scare and kill' a few times in drafts. I actively now try and avoid any situation where I might need to use that phrase verbally or in written form as I know one day I'll actually say/send it.

Anon 05 November 21 09:44

I once went to meet a recruiter for a coffee.  Just before arriving, I received a text from him saying "I'm currently stiff at the main bar"

Anonymous 05 November 21 10:38

 

I once dictated a letter of claim which came back referring to the other side's "erotically manoeuvring vehicle".

 

A secretary in the same firm once sent a letter to "Stockport Police State".

 

Anonymous 05 November 21 10:43

I was once in front of the in-no-way-lamented Jeremy Deurden, when he decided to regale us with a tale from his time as a solicitor.  He had been approached by a secretary from a rival firm who had been summarily dismissed.  On enquiring as to the circumstances, it seems that she was working for a partner who had been involved in a lengthy, complex and lucrative series of transactions involving an old, historic building.  The partner had said into his dictaphone 'Right then Mary, that's it, our job is done.  All I need you to do now is schedule the leases, and then I'll take us all out for lunch.'

What Mary heard was 'All I need you to do now is shred all the leases.' 

Nic101 05 November 21 10:45

I once dictated “with kind regards” and it was translated to “we sent the photographs “ similarly “desiccated clay” became “desecrated clay” 👻

Anonymous 05 November 21 10:47

"The Warrantors will survive Completion."

Very positive news given that we acted for the Warrantors.

Graeme S. 05 November 21 11:11

A partner at the now defunct Hammond Suddards whose name (Killick) was automatically changed to 'Colic' by Outlook - was quite funny to watch his face go bright red every time!

Anonymous 05 November 21 11:32

I once worked with a delightful though rather portly chap named Hugh.  To my enduring mortification, I once inadvertently sent an emailed addressed to 'Dear Huge'.

Anonymous 05 November 21 11:33

Another lovely one from the Gazette from many years ago was a solicitor who received a letter addressed to 'Joe Bloggs, Solicitor, and not a Republic.'

Anonymouse 05 November 21 11:36

Not quite the same but I did hear a story about a solicitor who was having an affair with an older partner which they had successfully managed to keep secret. 

On his birthday she sent him a suggestive message about what they would do together after work.  

Unfortunately for her, the first few letters of his name coincided with a massive distribution list within the firm and autocorrect/ auto-fill took care of the rest. 

Anon 05 November 21 11:45

I heard of a litigator who quite commonly used to make each first letter in a paragraph spell out an acrostic.

For the avoidance of doubt...

Unless we hear from you...

Certain of your assertions...

(etc.)

Andy 05 November 21 11:48

I once advised a client they would be better off speaking to a member of our pubic law department.

Me 05 November 21 11:48

A girl at our firm (Trudy) signed off a letter as Turdy. She was then known as that for years!

I’ve also had someone tell me that the anus was on me to prove something. That was quite the motivator. 

Ex-Feudal Lord 05 November 21 11:52

When working in a local authority as a trainee, I needed to process all the "Superior's Consent" applications for permissions to change things on ex-Council Houses in the area under Scotland's then feudal property rules.  One request for a proud home-owner to apply roughcasting to the back of their house, came back from the typing pool as permission for them to apply "rear upshafting". I caught it before it went for signing.

Tony Webster 05 November 21 11:58

A variation on the "I know you are busy" is  "I know you are bushy".

 

Even worse, really

Dave Daveson 05 November 21 12:12

I was delighted at my old firm to receive a firm-wide email alerting us that “There has been a power cu*t in the London office”. Hardly anyone noticed but IT sent an apology email minutes later which of course had the Streisand effect. Also, there were quite a few power cu*ts in our London office.

Common parts 05 November 21 12:55

A real estate associate at my firm annoyed her PA

Her lease came back without all amendments typed in and was sent off to the other side

Who noticed that all the references to common “parts” had been transformed into common “farts”

Treat your PAs well

Kate 05 November 21 13:31

Please include the dull details of your accident.

Thank you for sending the additional document for the bible: please tell me where to insert it.

Anonymous 05 November 21 13:39

Going back to a client letter template used on numerous occasions and discovering a missing “not” at the end - “Please do hesitate to contact us.”

Cupid Stunt 06 November 21 10:25

I once typed an email to a very important client of the firm I worked at back then who was a friend too. I typed it proof read it and sent it. He emailed back stating “ I think you have emailed the wrong person”. His name was Titus. I addressed the email as...

”Dear Tits,”

Mature lawyer 08 November 21 16:56

The automated spellcheck changes my surname to "cocaine".  Fortunately, I have never managed to send an e-mail signed "cocaine", although I would if Eric Clapton were my client.

Anonymous 08 November 21 21:03

Back in the day, one of my fellow trainees (now a partner at another firm) was charged with organising a fixture for the office football team and sent an office-wide appeal for people who had kept the tops from the last game: “if you have a shit, please leave it on my desk”

BananaJempson 08 November 21 22:01

Had to meet a female advocate to relay client instructions ahead of a hearing, she suggested grabbing a coffee somewhere to which I replied with the godawful typo:

"sounds good, let me know which venue takes your fanny"

Q 09 November 21 07:48

A lawyer on the other side once misspelt "blended" as "bellend". It was one of the only changes that appeared in the mark-up.

Mature lawyer 09 November 21 15:29

Much hilarity was had in my first law firm when facilities management sent an office-wide e-mail asking the person who left a string of pearls in the bathroom to come forward.

Anon 09 November 21 17:48

I had a dictation returned to me which, instead of dealing with "arrangements for the merger between X and Y" dealt with "arrangements for the murder between X and Y".   

Gangley 16 November 21 10:54

20 years ago - in early days of spellcheck one -of my letters had the text changed to "With Our Pre Juice". 

Never forgotten 19 November 21 13:15

In the day's of dictation and secretaries, my supervising litigation partner  argued that his opponent's arguments were "fallacious." His secretary felt that "fellatios" described them better and the letter was sent out. 

The secretary was, forever after, told to keep their head down

Oops 22 November 21 10:03

Once on the phone, got bye and 'doei' (bye in Dutch) confused. "Okay, thank you. Die!"

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