What Does the Legal Term “Without Prejudice” Actually Mean?
You might be hearing this very often while settling a dispute that it is made on a “without prejudice basis”. So, what exactly does prejudice mean? Do you think that the prejudice letter is used on behalf of the clients? The basic meaning of “without prejudice” is nothing but “without losing any rights”.
Whenever there’s a dispute among st two parties, at some point of time, negotiations take place and there will be a settlement with respect to dispute. A common letter from one party regarding settlement of the issue is to be mentioned “without prejudice”.
What’s the Whole Idea behind It?
The main theme of “without prejudice letter” is to encourage the settlement for the dispute raised between two parties, and make sure that it doesn’t lead to further litigation.
Sending the message with the word “without prejudice” means that the communication and its contents can’t be against the party, who is making the statement in legal proceedings. This particular protection is n’t constrained between the clients and lawyers, and lawyers themselves. If any party is involved in an argument, which in turn leads to litigation, then it can be communicated on a without prejudice basis.
Party that makes “without prejudice” offer reserves every right to assert original position. However, if the offer gets rejected, then litigation proceeds. Protection extends to certain discussion with respect to strengths and weaknesses of parties while communicating.
Protection is available between parties and it is not only the lawyers who enjoy the protection and get benefited from the word “without prejudice”. Clients also use the words “without prejudice” under certain other circumstances.
Dismissal without Prejudice
Let us now try to understand one of the other aspects of a letter without prejudice. The most important thing that you should learn about is the aftermaths of a dismissal without prejudice. As per this dismissal the court has all the rights to dismiss the particular case with keeping the window open for the plaintiff to bring back the suit once again.
It actually is a kind of a feedback from the court mentioning that the case has been put forth with some procedural errors but as it still is procedural it can be brought back to the court after making necessary corrections. It is like giving back the draft to a writer and asking him to bring it back after necessary grammatical and spelling corrections.
The release of such a dismissal actually means release of the liability. In this case liability refers to the responsibilities that certain people have towards something like a property. For example, a particular person who owns a certain property may have the liabilities of safety of people living in that property but a release of liability can set them free from such liabilities. Such release of liabilities can often result in dismissal without prejudice.
A perfect example can be a person bringing one of the civil suits to the court and contract by the company says that the person can sue the company; however if there are liabilities clauses that favor the company then the person may be asked by the court to reconsider his suit and make necessary changes to bring it back again in front of the court.