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Senior partner fined £5,000 after branding litigant-in-person a ‘fisherwoman’ in fiery email

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SDT said the comments were ‘completely unacceptable’

A senior law firm partner has been slapped with a £5,000 fine after he, among other things, accused a litigant-in-person of arguing with a judge “like a fisherwoman”.

Stefano Lucatello — a solicitor at Chelsea-based outfit Kobalt Law — was representing a client in matrimonial proceedings against his ex-wife, the specifics of which related to child contact and financial support.

According to a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) judgment published earlier this week, Lucatello sent a number of emails to his client’s wife — who was representing herself in proceedings — between March 2014 and July 2015.

In one email, he wrote:

You seem to think that everyone who represents another party is a liar! I have told you before not to judge people by your own standards.

In another email, referencing what appears to be an earlier court hearing, Lucatello said:

Of course you will have forgotten your own distasteful outbursts before DJ Bowman where you argued with her in court like a fisherwoman.

At one point, Lucatello even threatened to involve the police. In an email dated 10 October 2014 he wrote:

Do not think that I will not have you arrested. Your conduct and behaviour throughout are a disgrace.

Shocked by the tone of the emails, the wife — referred to only as “Ms VG” in the SDT’s judgment — reported Lucatello to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Responding to the complaint back in September, Lucatello — who was admitted to the roll in 1988 — wrote to the SRA maintaining that the comments were “reasonable, fair, polite, but firm.” Describing Ms VG as “unbalanced”, he argued that the heated exchanges were neither offensive nor threatening.

In the run up to the hearing and despite his earlier written protests, the commercial and property specialist admitted the charge, and accepted that he had failed to display proper professional respect and courtesy to Ms VG.

Describing the email exchanges as “completely unacceptable”, the tribunal said:

He had been corresponding with a litigant in person and it had been his responsibility to maintain his professionalism regardless of what that person may have done. [Lucatello’s] conduct was unprofessional and had continued for a period of over a year.

Lucatello was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.

Read the SDT judgment in full below:

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24 Comments

Anonymous

How does one argue like a fisherwoman?

(8)(2)

Anonymous

I suspect he is a non-English speaker and is running together fishwish and washerwoman, which is pretty funny.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Sorry, fish*wife* that should have said.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Basically what the SDT are saying is that you have to turn the other cheek.

No matter how much sh1t you get from a LIP you mustn’t be slightly rude back, otherwise they will help themselves to thousands of pounds of your hard earned dosh.

(19)(5)

Anonymous

You might want to read the judgment if you haven’t already – – it goes way, way, way beyond “slightly rude”: calling the LIP a liar and threatening to have her arrested and more besides. I think he’s got off pretty lightly all in all.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Easy. One appeals to the scales of justice, picks a bone, swims against convention, batters the opposition and then leaves them gutted.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Fin!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Cod help us. You should be in the had-dock answering for your crimes against English.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

That is how one argues like a fisherwoman.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Now there lies a tail

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Whereby hangs a tail?

Aye, by many a wind instrument I know.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Sorry. I admit those jokes were excrucia – sting. ray.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Lol

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Reasonable, fair, polite, but firm, strong and stable.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

This is what happens when you have a society full of snowflakes who get offended about ANYTHING. How does one even get offended at “arguing like a fisherwoman”?

(4)(5)

Fisherwoman

Like this. :,-(

(7)(0)

Not Amused

The real argument Fisherwomen should be having is about taking back power over our fishing waters from the Spanish and ensuring the best possible deal on leaving the EU.

(8)(7)

anon

Another paid off panel …

(0)(0)

Vinny Scallopi

Wot a load O codswallop

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What happened to freedom of expression?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

You know, of course, that the principle of freedom of expression does not mean and has never meant that one is entitled to say whatever one likes without consequence. It is an extremely narrow principle, namely that the state will not interfere to prevent a person from expressing themselves. Even that is subject to limits.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

What numskull downvoted this!?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Lucatello was once arrested for alleging making anti-Semitic remarks at a football match. Perversely, at the time, he was a partner at the law firm Max Gold. And yes, his former business partner, Max Gold, is Jewish.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

If I may change the subject from Lucatello, did anyone see the article about little pricks at football matches? Something about a player taking a needle onto the pitch

(0)(1)

Comments are closed.