Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Is It Illegal to Directly Contact the Opposing Party?

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: CT

    After failing in attempts to have our neighbor sign a license to use the 6' of our property that is on their side of our stonewall, we felt we were left with no option but to move the stonewall between the properties over 6' to the property line to protect ourselves from adverse possession.

    Our lawyer, who was urging us to sign an agreement to leave the wall in place forever in exchange for the neighbor agreeing to not try to claim adverse possession (although he continually told us that they did not meet the requirements for adverse possession) left a voicemail stating " I have done all I can to try to resolve the matter and if you want to hire another lawyer, fine. I am sending a bill for my services". Which he did and I promptly paid and consider our relationship concluded.

    I took one more shot, by sending a letter and a modified agreement stating that we would not move the wall for a minimum of ten years. The letter asked them to please sign the agreement or remove any plants you wish to save by August 25. The neighbor on receiving the letter furiously tore out/chopped down a couple of bushes.

    A couple of days later, I got a letter from my former lawyer, enclosing a copy of a letter from the neighbor's lawyer. In it he stated that I knew the neighbors were represented by council and that sending a letter and agreement directly was unacceptable.

    I thought I was doing the right thing to make one more attempt at a compromise before moving the wall, which will be about 2' from the neighbor's driveway and will be visually less appealing than leaving the wall in it's present location.

    My question: Am I legally precluded from contacting the neighbor directly?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Contact Opposing Party Directly?

    No, you can contact the other party. Absolutely nothing wrong with it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Contact Opposing Party Directly?

    Quote Quoting CT woodhog
    View Post

    A couple of days later, I got a letter from my former lawyer, enclosing a copy of a letter from the neighbor's lawyer. In it he stated that I knew the neighbors were represented by council and that sending a letter and agreement directly was unacceptable.

    I thought I was doing the right thing to make one more attempt at a compromise before moving the wall, which will be about 2' from the neighbor's driveway and will be visually less appealing than leaving the wall in it's present location.

    My question: Am I legally precluded from contacting the neighbor directly?

    Abide by the attorney's wish NOT to contact the neighbor again or it could be considered harassment.

    Example, I sue you, and have a counsel of record on the lawsuit, you are NOT permitted to contact me directly, it MUST be to and through my attorney.

    Assume the same applies to pre-litigation, and you will have covered yourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Contact Opposing Party Directly?

    If I'm represented by counsel and choose to talk to the opposing party, that's my choice. It's not harassment by the opposing party even if my lawyer has told both them and me that we should not talk directly to each other.

    Attorneys are subject to ethical restrictions on speaking to represented parties, and even to unrepresented parties. The parties themselves are not.

    It makes no sense for you to contact your neighbor directly, and it sounds like you would be making the situation worse through additional contact, but it's not illegal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Contact Opposing Party Directly?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If I'm represented by counsel and choose to talk to the opposing party, that's my choice. It's not harassment by the opposing party even if my lawyer has told both them and me that we should not talk directly to each other.

    Attorneys are subject to ethical restrictions on speaking to represented parties, and even to unrepresented parties. The parties themselves are not.

    It makes no sense for you to contact your neighbor directly, and it sounds like you would be making the situation worse through additional contact, but it's not illegal.
    I consider my representation by council to be over as he stated he could do nothing further for me and sent a final bill. I was not happy with his representation. I think including the statement in his intitial draft of the license agreement "This agreement can be cancelled by either party on 30 days notice" bordered on incompetence. His advice was contradictory. On one hand he assured me the neighbor had no grounds for adverse possession, on the other hand he was pressing me to sign the agreement that neither ourselves or our heirs could ever move our stone wall. We had no intention of moving the wall, but did not want to give up our right to do so in the future.

    My contact with the neighbor was primarily to give them the opportunity to relocate any plantings they wished to save before they were dug out and discarded to relocate the wall. I thought the offer to agree to leaving the wall in place for a minimum of ten years was a generous compromise since their ultimate concern was leaving the wall in place. It seems they are just so obstinate that they will make us move the wall rather than agree to permissive use of our property.

    We will begin moving the wall next week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Contact Opposing Party Directly?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If I'm represented by counsel and choose to talk to the opposing party, that's my choice. It's not harassment by the opposing party even if my lawyer has told both them and me that we should not talk directly to each other.
    But if my attorney tells you NO more contact with me, the client, and for you to direct all corresepondence to me through him, and you contact me anyway with proposals, etc., you risk an invasion of privacy action!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Directly Contact the Opposing Party?

    In what way? I don't have to obey your attorney. Now if you or the court tells me, that is another issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Directly Contact the Opposing Party?

    Quote Quoting lwpat
    View Post
    In what way? I don't have to obey your attorney. Now if you or the court tells me, that is another issue.
    It equates to an invasion of privacy, whether I instruct my attorney to tell you or I tell you myself, and you don't comply.

    Another example, if my attorney instructs you, at my request, for you to stop calling my house, and you do not, that is telephone/telecommunications harassment.

    It is a trespass upon the person and could be actionable.

    As I said, if I sue you and have a counsel of record, you have to, as far as certification of service is concerned etc., direct any legal documents to him, not me. If you send them to me also and my attorney asks you to cease and desist and you don't, you could be in for trouble that is easily avoided.

    If a person's attorney informs me to direct ALL correspondence to him instead of thier client, I will.

    I am not going to "risk" a possible action against me and "challenge" him to "come up" with a cause of action, he might just find one.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Divorce: Can Opposing Counsel Contact a Defendant by Email
    By db7 in forum Divorce, Annulment and Separation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-01-2011, 04:39 AM
  2. Legal Malpractice: Conflict of Interest by Opposing Party's Lawyer
    By ray8456 in forum Malpractice Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-15-2010, 05:14 PM
  3. Direct Contact from Opposing Counsel
    By letsprocre8 in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-16-2009, 01:55 PM
  4. Patents: Notice to opposing party of a subpoena to a third party
    By TedK in forum Intellectual Property
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-07-2007, 06:07 AM
  5. why must I pay legal fees for opposing party's misconduct
    By selina6446 in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-14-2005, 09:26 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources