How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick;Lawyer Your Own Question
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 155
Experience:  Expert
Type Your Law Question Here...
Patrick;Lawyer is online now

I am currently being pursued by my Trades Union for issuing

Customer Question

I am currently being pursued by my Trades Union for issuing a defamatory statement to my Branch Members. I have offered a retraction and unreserved apology but this has been rejected because it does not follow the wording they are insisting upon. The lawyers representing the Union state that if I do not sign the full retraction statement by close of play today (less than 36 hours notice) they will sue me in a court of law. Is it reasonable to expect a reply in such a short period?
JA: The Lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Where are you located? These laws vary by location.
Customer: Bracknell, Berkshire
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The defamatory statement was that the General Secretary was a bully and a coward. The letter also mentioned that the Branch Executive Committee had been subjected to harassment, intimidation and discrimination and were considering raising a case with the Certification Officer.
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Patrick;Lawyer replied 13 days ago.

Hello there and thank you for choosing to use our service. I am an experienced litigation solicitor specialising in pragmatic risk management. I will return to you as quickly as I can to provide my top level summary / RSVP and practical guidance if appropriate. Try and draft a written response stating you need some time to respond as you are in the process of seeking legal representation.  To that end I would advise that you prepare a high level case summary and go and consult with a direct access barrister in your area as soon as practicable.  Regards

Expert:  Patrick;Lawyer replied 12 days ago.

How far apart are you on the wording of this proposed statement and have you sought a consultation with a lawyer?  Let me k ow if I can assist any further.  Happy to help in as far as I can.  Keep tactical and keep strategic.  You are effectively in a negotiation now so please keep it ultra professional in all correspondence, insist  on fully noted minutes and keep your counsel.  Seek as much advice as you possibly can.  Regards

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
This is what I sent out to the Branch members
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Steve Moss
05 November 2021
Prospect logo
Suspended for standing up for democracy - GenSec election
In nominating Dan Cope (R306 President) as a candidate for the General Secretary election your Branch Executive (and in particular Dan)
has been subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying, discrimination, lies and character assignation from the Presidential Team and
Senior Leadership Team of Prospect; resulting in the suspension of Dan Cope on dubious grounds of subscription irregularities.The Branch Executive believes it followed the Rules, Principles and Protocols of the Election for General Secretary
(unlike the National Executive Committee) but this has been rejected and consequently Dan Cope has been suspended,
pending an investigation to trumped up charges for subscription irregularities.If this had occurred in the workplace, Prospect would have been up in arms and defended the right of an individual to hold Office,
speak up against injustice and support democracy; but it seems this is not acceptable when challenging the incumbent General Secretary.The Branch Executive has therefore lost any respect for the Prospect leadership team and is considering what further actions to take;
filing a complaint to the Certification Officer, a vote of No Confidence and/or mass resignation of the Branch Committee.Please do not vote for Mike Clancy in the upcoming General Secretary election; as the NEC have ensured there is no alternative nomination.OH! YOU CAN'T VOTE FOR MIKE CLANCY AS THERE WILL BE NO ELECTION BECAUSE HE IS A BULLY AND A COWARD.YoursSteve MossR306 Vice-PresidentLondon &SouthEast Regional Branch
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
This is what they want me to sign, but the Branch Executive is still considering raising a complaint to the Certfication Officer, and to sign would invalidate such a claim.APOLOGY & RETRACTIONTo the union president, Eleanor WadeIn an email of 5 November 2021 sent to 3642 branch members, written in my then capacity as vice-president of Prospect’s London and South-East Regional Branch,
I made a series of false and defamatory statements about Prospect’s General Secretary, Mike Clancy, and the members of the union’s Presidential Team
and Senior Leadership team (“Mr Clancy and the team members”). In the email I made allegations, whether expressly or by innuendo, the natural and ordinary meanings of
which were that Mr Clancy and the team members:1. had subjected the executive of the London and South-East Regional Branch and the member and candidate for General Secretary, Dan Cope,
to extreme and unprofessional behaviour;2. had done so to frustrate Dan Cope’s candidacy for the post of General Secretary and had dishonestly used the process of suspension of him by relying upon on fabricated allegations to achieve that aim;3. had acted in these ways to prevent any challenge to the incumbent General Secretary and to prevent a free and fair election;4. that Mr Clancy was a bully in being party to the alleged conduct and a coward because he feared Dan Cope as a contestant to the post of General Secretary
and was not willing to face him in a fair fight; and that5. Mr Clancy and the team members were corrupt, cynical and hypocritical in that they abuse their positions within the union and misuse the union’s rules
to frustrate the operation of democracy within the organisation.I now recognise that there was no foundation whatsoever to these allegations and I regret that they were ever made. I am happy to correct my error and express to Mr Clancy and the team members my regret in making the allegations which I withdraw unreservedly.
I acknowledge that in suspending Dan Cope, Mr Clancy and the team members were at all times acting in accordance with letter and spirit of the union’s rules and its NEC's Disciplinary Standing Orders and without ulterior motives.
Expert:  Patrick;Lawyer replied 11 days ago.

Thank you for this - can you send me the precise extracts from the second statement which is providing you with a problem?  How long has the process been ongoing and what legal advise have you sought or obtained to dare?  Regards

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Points 1 through to 4 are particularly problematic; as to retract these would invalidate any future challenge to the Certification Officer by my Branch Executive. This started at the end of Sept/start of Oct. I have sought no other legal advise.
Expert:  Patrick;Lawyer replied 9 days ago.

Hat do you stand to lose here if you do not agree?  What is your service and have there been any other instances of this problems or ones like it during your past service?  Speaking to a good lawyer in your area and getting them briefed may well not be the worst idea if you which to pursue this matter.    Regards