The first and foremost action shall be to accept the notice whatever it may be as no-acceptance of the notice means Deemed to be good service and hence it is better to know the contents of the notice and then make the strategy to reply the notice or not and if so, then how. Here comes the importance of taking assistance of a skilled and experienced Business Lawyer (Note: Avoid online legal services for drafting the notice reasons you can read at this link: https://taxguru.in/corporate-law/dangerous-avail-online-business-legal-services.html). Legal notice has got a very important role to play in legal matters and hence this shall never be taken easily nor one shall avoid its acceptance as no purpose is served negating the acceptance and infact non-acceptance only gives the point to other party stating the bad intention about You. Below are certain Tips, which I feel might help you in proceeding with the reply of Legal Notice or infact any notice:
- Don’t get Panic or Don’t take any steps without giving any thoughts and please note that notice may contain the “time limit” of you replying and even in the matters pertaining to infringement of IPR normally 48 hours are given and hence don’t take any panic steps as if so taken this may defeat your defence if at all any and or you may put in writing as reply to notice which is not actually the fact and this becomes evidence against you.
- All legal notice which are issued are issued under certain legal provisions and hence the next step to find out under which provision of law the notice has been issued and this will give the information about its legal provisions and also the way to proceed further and how to move further.
- Get all the facts written down in synopsis event-wise as this will help to know the link of the matter. I always believe in having a FLOW CHART of your matter in event wise and opposite matter in event wise and this is where the missing or gap comes into pictures. Please note that if the facts are being correctly informed and are used as defence in notice then majority of times the matter will never proceed to Courts as they are aware of your defence and anyone going to the Court will surely analyse their case of how strong it is to go courts for litigation and also costs play a huge factor also.
- Before replying to any notice, as stated above, go through all the documents, agreements, correspondence and cross-check with all the facts and the cross-check with the allegations as made in the notice as most of the times and infact majority of times once the event synopsis is made and documents are seen and read in order, the flaws in the allegation as made in the notice will come out and this will then become your defence and part of your arguments in Courts
- Please note that every legal dispute arises out of a transaction which has commercial, technical, financial and legal aspect and hence it becomes even more important to understand its impact on you and your business and your commercials.
- One will always find number of allegations and the reply notice shall also in same manner which means reply in specific but this depends on purpose and nature of notice and also that does not mean that you open your defence in all aspect but if you feel that you have a case which has directly link to their allegations and there is a strong proof then mention it as your defence but please note that in no manner you shall harm your position in the case. As a lawyer, replying to Section 138 is normally avoided to not open the defence which is good strategy but if the facts are really strong in your favour then better to reply else you will have to face the litigation in the courts via regular appearance which is more costly then you think off.
- Further, don’t ever agree to any allegations and what to admit or not is where the experience of skilled lawyer comes into picture and this is where the case is either being made or closed. I have seen many cases where clients to avoid legal costs or with good intention to close the matter, reply admitting the allegations which is nothing but an admission of facts and then when it does not goes what they thought, this becomes as evidence
- Please note that there is no mandate that reply shall be in same language as sent and it is better to reply in the language you can understand or your lawyer as at the end you shall confirm the facts of the notice. In today’s time, English is the preferred language used in replying in commercial market.
- Avoid using fanciful or high funda words and or bad language as there is no purpose being achieved. There is a basic logic of why one shall use simple words and language as this makes the things and your intention very clear as even a small error can change the whole story. Take precaution and take simple usage of words. If you respond to the Notice in a factual, and careful way, it is possible that other party’s legal attorney could convince their client to take more conciliatory approach.
- Please note that notice be sent via Registered post and one original copy be retained by you and once they receive the copy of notice then send via email and then Whatsapp as this will only ensure your delivery in all aspects. Keep all the AD Card, email prints and all very safely as this will act as evidence in all matters.
- Please note that one shall always believe in the fact that ‘Litigate rarely, negotiate mostly, but settle always”. The term ‘Litigate rarely, means that this shall be your last resort and not that you totally ignore the Litigation; the term “negotiate mostly” means that if your Pre-Litigation measures are strong and in compliance and mistakes are avoided then this will only force the opposite party to negotiate and settle and this is where you shall be agile to negotiate and the term “, but “settle always” means if above two terms are taken care, third will follow by itself with no acts from our end
The above points are major part of how to reply notice but it is better to avail the services of Lawyer rather than online legal services as even a small word either in issuing notice or replying will either make your case strong or weaken your case.