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“One should assume that anything they put in writing may someday be read by a judge”

Published On: November 11th, 2015Categories: Landlord-Tenant
Text Messages

When I first graduated from law school and began work as an attorney, my mentor at the time left me with these words. In this time of instant access, constant contact, texting, e-mails, facebook and the rest, it seems people think less and less before committing their words to digital eternity. It is sometimes easier to be rude, or even mean, to others using today’s technology.

At trial in landlord-tenant court the other day, the tenant told the judge that my client had agreed to accept rent from a third-party. This was the first time I had heard of any text messages in the case. It is not uncommon to run into surprises at trial as an attorney, but it is always unnerving. The judge asked to see the tenant’s cell phone so he could read the alleged text messages. I am glad to say that my client is a wise man, and his text messages were completely reasonable. He clearly requested documentation from the third party, which was never provided, and he did not respond rudely even when his tenant sent some nasty texts to him.

As the judge read these messages in open court, and ultimately ruled in my client’s favor, I remembered my mentor’s words and couldn’t help but think how valuable his advice has been.

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