Demand Letters

In the legal world, a demand letter is commonplace.  Attorneys often send a demand letter on behalf of a client to a person who has either damaged the client in some way or is continuing to act in a certain manner which is damaging to the client.  Demand letters in of themselves have no legal authority.  What a demand letter represents is an offer to resolve the situation prior involving the courts and pursuing litigation.  Demand letters do not necessarily mean that a lawsuit will be filed in the event that the person does not comply, only that a lawsuit is being considered.  In the event that you receive a demand letter, you are legally entitled to ignore the request made by the attorney.  However, there are reasons that a demand letter should not be ignored.

First, a person should only completely ignore a demand letter if they believe they have not engaged in the conduct or caused the damages complained of.  But even if you do not believe that you engaged in any such behavior, one should consult an attorney to see if they may have some liability stemming from the conduct complained of or pursuant to some legal authority unknown to the average person.

However, if a person believes that they may have done some of the acts complained of or otherwise may be subject to liability, it is in their best interest to contact an attorney to discuss their liability and the reasonableness of any offer.  Moreover, it may be in the persons interest to contact the attorney who sent the demand letter, either personally or through an attorney.  The reason that it may be in a person’s interest to contact the attorney that sent the letter is due to the fact that legal proceedings have not been commenced,  and therefore the complaining party has not yet incurred court costs and legal fees.  Due to this fact, the complaining party may be more willing to take pennies on the dollar.  What would be recommended in such a case is to make an offer which may be less than is owed or which is less than requested.  This may allow the person to get this issued resolved early and for less than what they might owe.  Additionally, the person is not paying legal fees and court costs associated with litigation, if it comes to that, and thus saving their own time and money.

This blog is meant to be informative and does not constitute legal advice, and while I do encourage others to post and discuss this topic, I can not and will not respond to any questions as it can create a conflict of interest and possible ethical violations.



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