… said the lawyer to the judge …

I am a big fan of the Letters of Note blog which publishes ‘correspondence deserving of a wider audience,’ including letters from all walks of life between people known and unknown. I highly recommend it for a daily dose of the best (and worst) of humanity – and often in the most surprising way – and can’t tell you how many times I’ve flicked across at the end of a long day or night for the latest installment, and then gone to bed moved or inspired for having taken a few minutes to read a little bit of someone else’s history.

This beauty arrived on my Facebook page today and it embodies everything that I think makes a great exchange memorable:

  • a departure from the tone of correspondence normally expected between these two professionals (a lawyer and a judge)
  • an obviously well considered attempt (by the lawyer) to be persuasive for his personal benefit and not his client’s, using humour – and quite successfully too.
  • a response from the addressee that completely lifts the reader to another level. You expect – maybe – a particular answer, but you actually get quite another.
  • The answer itself changes the dynamic of the letter by enhancing the original premise – that of the importance of culture and family.


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