Lawyers PI Program

#132

 From the Desk of:

 Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

 

“Business Format Heading”

 

As silly as it sounds, too many narratives do not have a business format heading and I realized after all of this time that many of you simply do not know how to do it. Lawyers are sticklers on language, as I have shared with you many times, and poor grammar or improper format can “turn a lawyer off,” leaving you not even knowing why they do not want to work with you. I am a huge proponent of not being the stupid reason for a lawyer not wanting to work with me. The other side of the coin, which I have learned after talking to lawyers, is more to the point and powerful; if the doctor can’t do something as simple as use correct grammar or proper format on paper, then how well read is the doctor? How up-to-date is he on the latest issues with regards to the injuries of the client? In addition, if the doctor can’t properly format a report, how well written is the rest of the report and how is it going to hurt the lawyer's case? If you think that the lawyers do not think like this, simply ask yourself when the last time was that a lawyer asked for the patient's results without wanting your report. This is a clear indication that he/she does not trust you. Format, like grammar, is a trust builder. Why would you want to have circulating in the universe a document that says you are less than the very best?

 

BUSINESS FORMAT HEADING

Your address:
Street
City, State Zip code
Date

heading/
date line

4 spaces
  

 

John Smyth Esq.
Johnson, Smyth and Banner 
327 Jackson Drive 
Los Angeles, CA 90211

inside address

3 spaces

Patient: Mary Jones

Date of Accident: February 5, 2010

2 spaces

Dear Ms. Smyth: [salutation: follow with a colon]

 

Here are some clichés that you will want to avoid:

attached please find
enclosed please find
herewith, forthwith, herein ...
it is requested that

permit me to say
as per your request
we are in receipt of your request
we beg to advise you that

 

NOTES:

If you use letterhead, you do not need your name and address above the name. Letterhead should be professional; no cute pictures, caricatures or slogans. It needs to be very conservative. The reason, lawyers are conservative and you do not want to get them thinking about anything other than the words on the report, such as the “unprofessional” style of your letterhead. That is what will be going through their minds and it can potentially cost you a relationship.