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It’s All Your Fault episode 313

Civil Communications for Lawyers and Law Offices

Effective Communication for Legal Professionals
Bill, Megan, and their guest Rehana Jamal – and Bill’s co-author – dive into strategies for clear, civil communication in the legal field. They aim to provide practical tools that lawyers, court staff, and anyone interacting with the justice system can use right away.

The episode focuses on BIFF, the High Conflict Institute’s proven method for responding to emotionally-charged messages. Bill lays out the BIFF framework and walks through examples of transforming aggressive emails into responses that are Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm.

Rehana weighs in with insights from her experience as an attorney and mediator. She highlights how BIFF builds relationships and saves time compared to reactionary, hostile communication.

Together, they make the case that small changes in how we communicate can transform legal conflicts and prevent escalation. Mastering constructive communication habits benefits lawyers, clients, court staff, and entire communities.

Questions we answer in this episode:

  • What is the BIFF response method?
  • When is it appropriate to apologize in a professional email?
  • How can BIFF improve lawyer-client relationships?
  • Does BIFF work for all areas of law?
  • Can BIFF help manage stress for legal professionals?

Key Takeaways:

  • Hostile emails from clients often stem from feeling discounted – a BIFF response shows you care.
  • Pausing before reacting gives you time to construct an informative, friendly email.
  • BIFF responses rarely need to be more than a concise paragraph.
  • Avoiding apologies in heated exchanges prevents misuse of your words.
  • Speaking by phone resolves issues faster than extended email chains.

The legal field deals with conflict daily. This episode provides communication tools to handle clashes with skill and grace. Bill, Megan, and Rehana model a constructive approach that improves outcomes for all involved.

Links & Other Notes

Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.

Further Listening

Each week, Bill Eddy and Megan Hunter will be exploring the five types of people who can ruin your life — people with high conflict personalities — and how they weave themselves into our lives in romance, at work, next door, at school, places of worship, and just about everywhere, causing chaos, exhaustion, and dread for everyone else.

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is viewed globally as the leading expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities.

Bill Zoom
Megan Zoom

Megan Hunter, MBA

Megan Hunter is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Within her role at HCI, she also serves as a leading expert in high conflict personalities in all settings, focusing primarily on the workplace, customer service, government/public service, ombuds, and religious organizations. Her degrees in business and economics combined with her years of experience in the legal arena are a valuable blend for many conflict settings.

Bill Zoom

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is viewed globally as the leading expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities.

Megan Zoom

Megan Hunter, MBA

Megan Hunter is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Within her role at HCI, she also serves as a leading expert in high conflict personalities in all settings, focusing primarily on the workplace, customer service, government/public service, ombuds, and religious organizations. Her degrees in business and economics combined with her years of experience in the legal arena are a valuable blend for many conflict settings.