FOR WHATEVER reason, you’ve reached a point where you want someone else to do something, give you something, or to stop doing something. A demand letter, or a cease and desist letter, may just help persuade this person.
You search online and see various templates and websites telling you how to send your own demand letter and what you may want to include in it. But which advice to follow?
Should you send your own demand letter or hire an attorney to do it?
Whether to do it yourself or hire an attorney is a decision you have to make yourself. Reasons you may want to hire an attorney, as opposed to doing it yourself, however, include:
(1) A letter from an attorney has more teeth. The recipient will usually treat the issue more seriously if the demand is coming from an attorney. If you’ve hired a lawyer to represent you, the recipient will realize you are treating this issue seriously and you mean business. And you are not afraid to take it to the next level if necessary.
(2) It can take a load off your shoulders. Part of an attorney’s job is absorbing their clients’ stresses. It’s what we attorneys do. We taken on the stresses of your issue so you can worry about bigger and more important things in your life.
(3) An attorney can properly advise you. An attorney who can see your situation objectively, as opposed to where you are — in the trenches — can advise you on the big picture and do so with an experienced and educated perspective.
(4) You could say something you might later regret. If you write a letter yourself, as opposed to it coming from an attorney, it will be a personal statement made by you. In litigation, a statement made by a party can be used against that person. If there is a chance you might enter into a court battle with the recipient, it might be best to have the letter come from an attorney so you do not inadvertently make a statement that can be used against you.
(5) It might be time to have someone in your corner. Sometimes it’s not just a simple letter you need, but the whole experience of hiring an attorney and developing a relationship with one. Once you develop that relationship, you can hopefully rely on that same attorney if something else happens in the future or if more help is necessary.
What reasons could I have to send a demand letter?
Attorneys send demand letters for different reasons. Types of letters we send out include:
- Cease and desist letters, or take-down demands, in instances of defamation (libel or slander), to demand that someone take down or remove a defamatory statement or stop making defamatory or disparaging statements about you. In some cases, such as where the defamatory statement is published in the media, Florida law requires a written notice of defamation before a lawsuit is commenced.
- Demand letters to auto dealers in issues of auto fraud. Since 2014, Florida law has required consumers to send demand letters to auto dealers before filing a lawsuit for Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This requirement is statutory and can be a cause of dismissal of a lawsuit if you do not send a letter.
- Cease and desist letters in issues of trademark or copyright infringement, to get someone to stop using your brand or artwork without filing a lawsuit.
- Settlement demands in any other dispute. Many times in disputes where you’re not quite ready to file a lawsuit but you would like to demand that someone pay you a certain sum — for whatever reason — a demand letter can be helpful.
Those are just a few reasons a demand letter might be necessary. In addition to these, if you’re in any situation where a resolution can be effected without a lawsuit being filed, a demand letter may be a good option and worth a try.
How do I hire an attorney to write a demand letter?
In addition to litigating, the attorneys at Cynthia Conlin & Associates send out many demand letters.
The process of hiring an attorney usually starts with a short consultation to discuss your matter and figure out what options are best for you. The consultation process is important, as your unique situation will depend on your own individual circumstances. Every situation is different.
You can schedule a consultation with Attorney Conlin by calling our office at 407-965-5519 or going to http://calendly.com/cynthiaconlin/consultation. Attorney Conlin charges a small consultation fee, but if you retain within 48 hours she will generally credit that fee to your new matter. If you have questions, you can also call our office, or you can contact us at our website email form.