Fiona Smythe's heart sank when she read the letter from David Charles. She had now been acting for Liz Jones for five months. Dealing with Brian Jones through his solicitor had been difficult enough; dealing with him directly would be nigh impossible.
Sure enough, in the same post she had received a six-page missive from Brian Jones, rambling about various irrelevant issues, making allegations against both her and her client and completely ignoring the further disclosure that the court had ordered him to make. She had, of course, received many similar letters from litigants in person, but that didn't make it any less wearisome reading them.
Resisting the temptation to pick up her dictaphone and tell Brian Jones exactly what she thought, Fiona put the letter in the file and put the file to one side until she had calmed down a little.
An hour later she picked up the file again and began dictating a letter to Brian Jones. She would keep it simple: ignore the irrelevances, tell him that she was taking her client's instructions upon the allegations that he had made against Liz and remind him of the disclosure that he was required to make. For what it was worth, she would also recommend that he take legal advice. She knew that he would not be happy to receive such a letter, and that it was likely to elicit an irate response (probably another six pages worth), but what else could she do?
She then dictated another letter to her client requesting instructions and, with a sigh, placed the file in her out-tray, resigning herself to the fact that progress would now grind to a crawl, the costs would be increased substantially and any slim chance of resolving matters by agreement was probably now lost.