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Bit of background on this question;

A group raised a conflict of interest dispute against our group - we immediately took necessary steps to remedy this action. We let them know within a day that we were doing this so they were aware steps were being made, and by the end of the weekend we sent via email a full log of changes we had made (all communications so far had been made over the phone or in person).

We asked in this e-mail if they could confirm the above changes were satisfactory (for our own protection) and they have yet to respond. Then in person they have now stated that they will not be responding in writing.

Our issue is, we want this in our writing in case they attempt to take this further, however they've verbally stated (off the record) that they will not be putting anything into an email to us.

We are considering a follow-up email after 2-3 weeks requesting response within the e-mail, and that if they do not respond within X time we are within our rights to assume they agree.

My Question is:

Is there an appropriate amount of time that we can define which would have legal standing that unless they dispute further, we are able to assume that their 'silence' is 'agreement'. I suspect that would prompt a response from them though - but, what would be a reasonable amount of time to include in case this rears it's head at us in the future.

Thanks!

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  • I don't know about time limits, but you may wish to consider sending an email (with a delivery and read receipt) or a signed-for letter saying something like "further to our various phone conversations and meetings [on dd/mm/yy at hh:mm] you said ... and ... stating you will not reply to my email dated dd/mm/yy in writing" This puts the ball is their court and gives you an auditable record of your positive actions to resolve matters if required in the future. – Rock Ape Apr 14 at 15:05
  • Hey @RockApe That's a great idea, i'll work that into the draft of our follow-up email we we're planning for a few weeks so that's accounted for also! I'm hoping there is a defined time-limit however otherwise our intention is to put the ball entirely in their court so any shortfalls are on their side only! – Ldweller Apr 14 at 15:29
  • This is really something you need to talk to a lawyer about, if you want to have any certainty. This site cannot substitute for proper legal advice. And sending a letter saying "we are within our rights to do X", if it turns out you are not, will at the least make you look very foolish. – Nate Eldredge Apr 14 at 15:57
  • @NateEldredge I agree it's certainly something a lawyer would provide more certain facts on - I was more opening the discussion in case anyone had encountered/read about a similar situation before and how it was handled - the last we want to do is screw this up! – Ldweller Apr 14 at 16:19
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Silence is never agreement

Agreement requires word or deed. That is, they must say they agree verbally or in writing, or act in such a way that their agreement is clear.

For the act, we’re not talking about head nods or thumbs ups, that would actually be saying you agree. The act is more “If you want my lawnmower for $50 come and get it” - if they come and get the lawnmower they’ve agreed to pay the $50.

You can assume that the dispute is still on foot. Of course, they can agree that the changes are satisfactory going forward but reserve their rights about past breaches.

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  • Thanks Dale! So in this instance where they're refusing to put any form of response (agree or disagree) in writing, how could we cover ourselves from them in the future pulling this out the bag? – Ldweller Apr 14 at 21:41
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    Refuse to deal with them further until they agree or disagree – Dale M Apr 14 at 21:42
  • Great to hear and I'll let the group know; finally (sorry to heckle you). Considering they're the party who raised issue in the first place yet refuse to accept or decline our amendments (professionally they should at least acknowledge us), there's no way other than asking we can force a response out of them? – Ldweller Apr 14 at 21:55
  • Well, when the sue you, that would be a response. – Dale M Apr 14 at 21:58

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