Dedicated to Ontario Small Claims
Court representation

Get it in writing

In the previous post, I discussed how you are always writing for the judge.   In line with this is the concept that everyone has heard “get it in writing”.  I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to confirm all verbal conversations in writing.

Picture the scenario where Doug Jones calls Steve Smith to follow-up on why his invoice hasn’t been paid.  Smith says that he simply forgot but that he will make payment by next Friday.  In such case it is crucial for Jones to send a follow-up email.  A sample email might be:

Hi Steve:
Further to our discussion, I confirm that you have received the invoice and that the non-payment to date was unintentional.  I confirm that you will be making payment by next Friday, July 16, 2010.   If that is incorrect, please email me before you leave today.  

Why is this so important?  Well, picture the scenario where Smith fails to pay.  Jones subsequently sues Smith in the small claims court who claims he never received the invoice and/or he doesn’t owe the money.  Without the email confirmation, it’s Jones’ word against Smiths.  With the email confirmation, Jones has corroborating evidence which could make the difference at trial.