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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11139
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am being sued for £22,000. Defenses are due in the sheriff

Customer Question

I am being sued for £22,000. Defenses are due in the sheriff court next tuesday. I have my defenses prepared for this date but have also agreed a settlement of £8,500 with the pursuers lawyer. I am representing myself by the way. He says he will accept a bankers draft in his office in return for a receipt acknowledging the transaction stating that it is in full and final settlement. I don't fully trust the watertightness of such a transaction and fear the remainder of the debt may still be pursued.


Can i do this transaction in the sheriff court (present a bankers draft for acceptance as full and final settlement for the disputed monies) in front of a sheriff at the point where i'm being asked for defenses?


Does this make it safer that a judge witnesses the acceptance from the pursuers lawyer and will the judge rule 'decree absolvitor' on the spot? Or will the judge refuse to partake/get involved with or acknowledge such a transaction?


Or should i just go for the £300 quoted by a law firm to deal with the whole situation?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

The full and final settlement letter should be fine. A sheriff is not interested in witnessing a settlement and in any event the case won't actually be calling until the Options Hearing which is long after the time for defences.

Do the following:

1. Get the bankers draft.

2. Hand it over to the pursuer's solicitor in return for a full and final settlement letter undertaking to lodge a Joint Motion and Joint Minute with the court within 7 days whereby decree of absolvitor is granted in your favour.

3. Ensure the Joint Motion and Joint Minute are available for you to sign when you hand over the cheque in return for the letter. Ensure the lawyer signs at the same time. Ensure you get copies of the signed Joint Motion and Joint Minute at the same time.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In total, how many individual signed documents should there be? Is it one settlement leteer, one joint motion letter and one joint minute letter? Or are all/some of these combined into one document?


Does the actual pursuer have to sign and accept these documents or can his lawyer deal with it all on his behalf, leaving no room for further dispute?


Also, is it worth me having my own witness(es) to the signings and transfer of monies?

Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Three documents:

1. Letter acknowledging the payment and undertaking to lodge the signed versions of 2 and 3 in court.

2. Signed Joint Minute granting absolvitor no expenses.

3. Signed Joint Motion to have the a Joint Minute received by the court and authority interponed to it by the court, thus ending the action in all time coming. The Joint Motion and Joint Minute can be dealt with administratively and no court appearance is needed by either party.

I hope this helps. Please leave positive feedback so that I am credited for my time.

Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Sorry your later questions.

1. The lawyer can sign for his client.

2. No witness should be required as they have accepted your funds, given you a letter and you will take away copies of the Joint Minute and Joint Motion.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thankyou, this has all been extreamly helpful. Just one final question;

It is possible that the pursuers solicitor could attempt to mislead me or have me sign non-legally binding documents that may not be immediately aparent to me, or would that be a case of serious professional misconduct?

I just have no idea how safe a transaction like this is, i need to cover that 1% doubt.
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
That would be misconduct, but remember to read the documents. They are self explanatory.