I began having conversations with a consulting firm which approached me with an offer of services. I liked the presentation and expressed willingness to look over the agreement and consider the offer. After a short time I decided it wasn't a good fit, and expressed that to the consulting firm, at which point I noticed some poignant changes in their communications with me.
Language in their emails went from what I'll call "business casual" to a more carefully worded tone, with word choices that left room for ambiguity when making statements, but demanded absolute answer when asking questions.
Appearance of what I'll call "threats by reticence" in verbal dialogue, where scenarios would be presented describing negative outcomes to our negotiations that weren't overtly threatening, but deliberately ended with phrases like "we'll see..." or "doesn't look good..."
And the main hint in this interaction: the consulting firm began including the same text content that was contained in the email as a signed pdf on their firm's letterhead, attached to the email. My suspicion is that this is an attempt to construct a narrative for litigation purposes, creating a paper trail outside of their company email account so that they can limit what they'd have to disclose in the discovery phase.
I don't have a lawyer, I can't afford one right now, and don't feel threatened enough to need one. But I am curious if my intuition is right. I will accept "stop watching legal drama" as a valid answer.