Ticket to Nowhere
I was rushing back from a meeting the other day, late to get back to the office – nothing new there.
I dived off the Victoria line train at Euston, crossed the corridor straight on to the Northern Line, going north. The indicator said the train just arriving was to High Barnet, so I walked straight on and sat down. So far so good. It’s a journey I’ve done a million times before. I clearly saw the indicator saying High Barnet and I saw the list of stations on the wall before the train entered the platform and blocked my view. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was in the right place and on the right train.
Nevertheless my heart stopped when the indicator inside the train said I was on a Morden bound train, via Waterloo. For a moment the world stopped as I checked over all the things that I knew to be true. All the signs I’d seen that meant I knew I was going in the right direction, not to mention the fact that I’ve done it all before. Despite all the factors that meant I knew I was right, the one factor that suggested I might be wrong nearly made me dive off the train (and so meant I would definitely have been late back to the office) and certainly made me stare out of the window of the moving train until we pulled safely in to Camden. It was only at that point that I relaxed, knowing that it was the on board indicator that was at fault, and went back to checking my e-mails.
No harm done, obviously. A few anxious minutes are neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, and the worst that would have happened is I’d have to have got off at the next stop and gone back. Hardly a crisis.
In business we often doubt ourselves. We know that we are in the right, but it’s easier to listen to the voices of doom, which always seem to sound disproportionately loud compared to the grounds for thinking something might go wrong. Litigation can be very much like that. I often tell my clients how good their case is (although never guaranteed) which means they are often surprised when the other side write back with an equally robust defence. It’s often easy to pick holes in it, point out the issues that they have conveniently ignored, and give all the reasons why they won’t admit to being wrong at such an early stage – it can be a tactic. Nevertheless, it must be very worrying for a potential litigant to be faced with a flat denial of liability, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It obviously causes people to doubt their own sanity.
This is one of the reasons why we often do an initial meeting for which we do not charge. It is important that clients are as confident with our communication skills and ability to explain things in non legal terms as it is for them to be happy with our legal skills and breadth of experience. If you are considering raising a dispute, possibly with a view to starting court proceedings and/or mediation, and would like to meet for a coffee and a chat, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll make sure we are all on the same page and on the right train before you invest any more time and money in the claim.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Helping you move in the right direction.