Is this appropriate conduct for solicitors?

(815 Posts)
AugustaFinkNottle Sat 11-Jun-16 22:33:36

A solicitors' firm which acts for councils in special educational needs tribunals has tweeted the following:

"Great ABA Trib win this week ... interesting to see how parents continue to persist with it. Funny thing is parents think they won ;)"

I can't link to it due to having been blocked confused but it's been retweeted, e.g here.

The original tweet resulted in numerous complaints and a quick change to the tweet.

The case they're triumphalising about will have involved a disabled child. Lovely.

fastdaytears Sat 11-Jun-16 22:34:55

Errrr no. And I say that as one.

You can make a report to the SRA as a non-client. They will look into it and then you don't need to worry about whether you're being U or not. But I don't think it's ok in the least bit.

EveryoneElsie Sat 11-Jun-16 22:36:49

Its jaw dropping that a company who's business is presenting a case in court managed to post that on the internet.
It had to be deliberate. Anti marketing or some such bullshit.

fastdaytears Sat 11-Jun-16 22:39:44

Ugh just read the follow up tweets and it's getting worse and worse.

Cakescakescakes Sat 11-Jun-16 22:40:29

My child has SEN. That tweet is beyond disgusting. How can any human being be so totally lacking in compassion or insight??????

Rockclimbingtigger Sat 11-Jun-16 22:42:13

I'm appalled at the crass nature of some of the replies attributed to them.

As a SN parent this has angered me hugely. I hope they get the book thrown at them. angry

runningincircles12 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:44:19

Wow, that's beyond unprofessional. Maybe it was tweeted by some disgruntled soon to be ex-employee. This is neither normal nor appropriate.

fastdaytears Sat 11-Jun-16 22:44:41

Please report. I see people on Twitter have already suggested SRA.

I can't believe anyone thought this was ok.

LaPharisienne Sat 11-Jun-16 22:45:33

No, they're not.

The person responsible (if a solicitor) could arguably be struck off for bringing the profession into disrepute.

fastdaytears Sat 11-Jun-16 22:45:52

running it looks like their Twitter is normally done by managing partner. Worryingly, they have at least two trainees at the moment. No one who thinks or talks (much less tweets) like that should be training anyone.

runningincircles12 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:53:33

Bloody hell. I just went on twitter and looked at some of the tweets. I agree that he should not be training people if that is the attitude he takes to his cases and his work. No apology either- just some rubbish about how he's told his cat about the twitter-storm.
I do think law firms need to be careful on twitter. It's fair enough tweeting your reported cases, but if I were the parents in this case, I would be beyond fuming that some idiot was essentially laughing at my 'losing' the case. At my old firm, the twitter account was run by the marketing department and sometimes I would think 'hmmm' at some of the tweets but it was nothing remotely close to this.

runningincircles12 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:54:59

And also worrying because they aren't some dodgy outfit, they are ranked in Legal 500 as leaders in their field.

tigerdriverII Sat 11-Jun-16 22:56:55

Given the hoops you have to jump through to secure public sector work, I'd think this was a pretty risky approach to business development. Not to mention unprofessional and distasteful.

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Sat 11-Jun-16 23:17:03

I am furious at this, arrogant and unprofessional. They are blocking anyone who replies to them including me.

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Sat 11-Jun-16 23:17:36

Can anyone send screenshots to the LAs too?

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Sat 11-Jun-16 23:19:16

Are they drunk?

TheBouquets Sat 11-Jun-16 23:20:15

After recent experiences I am not surprised at poor conduct from solicitors. They really do think they are above the Law.

Ruralretreating Sat 11-Jun-16 23:38:16

Not professional at all and I say that as a solicitor. I can see this going viral and ending unhappily for the solicitor involved.

Ruralretreating Sat 11-Jun-16 23:43:25

TheBouquets I'm sorry to hear that's been your experience, it really saddens me to hear it. Please be assured that not all solicitors are like that.

Expellibramus Sat 11-Jun-16 23:48:14

BS - they are perfectly named.

Alanna1 Sat 11-Jun-16 23:48:23

I've read this with interest (and I have a chid who receives support for physical and language difficulties), but I didn't quite understand why this tweet has such a furor - can someone explain?? Is it possible to read judgments from the tribunal to identify the child? Are they not anonymised? Is it uncommon for parents not to seek an ideal view of what they want in a constrained system that is not going to be achieved? We all want the absolute best for our children, but it isn't always/often isn't clinically necessary? And we can't all have the best all the time?

I have been disappointed with all sorts of minor aspects of my daughter's NHS care. To my great reluctance, I have found I have to top up both my child's needs with private support as we sit near a boundary of what the NHS offers - but I accept those trade-offs within the NH?.... Eg we don't meet the criteria for Great Ormond St led care (...which reluctantly I accept - we don't, I've read them, they exist for good reason) and fall under our local hospital trust instead, who have been adequate, but they aren't quite as good - so I pay privately for some limited additional support (a review by a leading professional twice a year) which has a very very minor benefit at the very margin in overseeing our NHS care; and E.g. a private physio in addition to NHS 1:1 and small classes etc - these are however really all quite marginal - the gym at the private St John and St Elizabeth hospital is amazing, but you can create something too at home / the local hospital tries it's best and it's not a bad best - I accept this, if a little sadly? And I see the £££ I spend as much as being part of the price I pay for for being a FT working mum (there are many prices one pays for working 80 hour weeks) who often isn't home to do the exercises the physio recommends because my job is too unpredictable , so I pay for external professional support who do them .... ----I read the tweet as saying the parents had overstated their child's needs and the tribunal agreed with the firm? My GP thinks I overstate my daughter's needs and she may well be 90% right if it were at a tribunal - I don't begrudge that resources get concentrated where they are needed clinically? Nothing wrong with a parent fighting for the best -it's the right thing for a parent to do! - but doesn't mean it's right it should all be paid for??

AugustaFinkNottle Sat 11-Jun-16 23:58:21

I would say that this is potentially identifiable. Anyone who has anything to do with the case will know what they're talking about, and that won't just be the parties - it will include witnesses on both sides, the tribunal clerk, and various members of staff at the local authority concerned. The local authority, who are the firm's clients, will, I trust, be incredibly unimpressed that their representative is publicly laughing his socks off at the parents of a disabled child in circumstances where that LA is still responsible for the education and welfare of the child in question and has to continue dealing with the family. They will be even more unimpressed if this results in the parents making a formal complaint against them to the tribunal, the Department for Education and the local government ombudsman.

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Sun 12-Jun-16 00:00:06

It's the gloating, can you really not see that? Posting mocking statements, a lawyer laughing and putting photos of kittens up in response to perfectly polite messages of dismay.

Ruralretreating Sun 12-Jun-16 00:02:12

Alanna1 for me it's the gloating and mocking tone over an issue where there are no real winners (because resources are finite) and the parents may well have been unrepresented. It's uncalled for and doesn't reflect well on the profession.

AugustaFinkNottle Sun 12-Jun-16 00:03:42

I read the tweet as saying the parents had overstated their child's needs and the tribunal agreed with the firm?

I think that would be reading far too much into it. This firm has a bit of a history of setting themselves up against parents who want Applied Behavioural Analysis for their children. It doesn't work for all children with autism, but for some it is very successful. So it isn't a question of the child's needs but the provision needed to meet those needs. It appears that the parents in fact got what they wanted out of the tribunal, but BS for some reason seems to think that they didn't - for all we know, the parents are right and BS is wrong. Either way it seems to me unacceptable to publicise this all over Twitter and to laugh about it.

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