So What Exactly IS a Demand Letter and When Should I Send One?
Demand letters are an excellent way to explore the resolution of a case without filing an actual lawsuit.
Demand letters are a legal letter that can be written for a variety of reasons and under many different circumstances. For example, they can range from intent to sue letters and cease and desist letters, to letters demanding payment for services rendered.
Demand letters are sent in many different scenarios — where you’ve been injured and you’re seeking compensation for your injuries, where someone hasn’t paid you for work you or your business performed, where you have a dispute with a neighbor or a business partner, where you claim you’ve been injured or wrongfully fired from your job, and where someone has stolen your intellectual property or is interfering with your business. Actually, the applications are endless and too numerous to list here.
Demand letters are an excellent way to explore whether your legal problem can be solved without going to court. They are a way of seeing if your dispute is capable of being settled on terms that are fair and acceptable to you.
The problem arises when a party to a conflict takes it upon their self to write one on their own.
That’s because when you don’t have legal training and experience, when you aren’t a seasoned licensed attorney, it’s very difficult for you to imagine the things you can say in a letter that will harm your case, or admissions you might make without meaning to that will sink your chances of winning at trial.
This is where I see many legal problems skyrocket out of control — where the client has made damaging statements in a writing (which can be an email or text message or social media post, too) without fully understanding the ramifications of their words and statements. Yes, you’ve heard it before and I’ll repeat it here: WORDS MATTER…… especially when you are a party to a lawsuit or about to become one.
There are two very important lessons that I learned early on as a lawyer a long time ago that inform this blog post:
a. Cases are often won and lost on the documents; and
b. The case you start with is rarely the case you finish with.
I highly recommend that my clients send a demand letter to their opponent before they file a case and start suing — even if the matter is small enough for small claims court. Demand letters offer an effective and economic way to position your case for maximum impact and set you up for successful litigation.
And this is why I provide this service as a greatly discounted rate. Because there is a legitimate need for people to see if they can resolve their differences before going “nuclear” without making further statements that may come back to bite them down the line.
Call Attorney Jennifer Gardner now at 310-993-9766 if you are seeking a case evaluation about a conflict you are experiencing and to see if a demand letter is the right course of action for you.