Demand letters are usually sent during the initial stages of a legal dispute. Demand letters typically get less consideration than official legal filings, but they must still be carefully organized to accomplish goals and avoid potential problems. Contact Olympia, WA business attorney for more information. The following five factors should be considered when drafting a demand letter before litigation.
How to use demand letters effectively in pre-litigation
A demand letter is an initial approach used by individuals or organizations to attempt to resolve a disagreement, usually about a payment that one party owes to the other. One side of the dispute is trying to sort out things through these letters to avoid filing official litigation with the courts. Ensure that your demand is conveyed clearly and succinctly without confusing it with unnecessary information in the conversation.
- Be factual, and avoid using strong words.
Convincing the receiver that your claim is legitimate and deserves attention should be the primary goal of a demand letter. Ensure the facts are true and uphold politeness by not criticizing the receiver. Furthermore, remember that your audience may be broad, comprising both lawyers and non-lawyers. The letter should be written in straightforward terms.
- Take into account the relevant ethical restrictions.
Using harsh or misleading words can have adverse effects and decrease your chances of receiving a positive response. Attorneys must express demands in a genuine manner, considering both the facts and the law.
- Observe the rules of any applicable laws or contracts.
Provisions outlining the requirements for giving notice of a violation frequently appear in commercial contracts. These rules vary in specificity and may contain information about where, when, and why notice should be provided. For this reason, it is essential to ensure all applicable contract language is followed. Similar legal requirements might apply to some statutory claims, which must be addressed in a demand letter before starting a lawsuit.
- Understand the correct privilege’s scope.
It is a popular fact that comments made by lawyers during a legal proceeding are shielded from allegations of defamation. Even so, pre-litigation demand letters may only be granted qualified privilege in some jurisdictions. As a result, lawyers should use caution when deciding the scope of the privilege granted in the jurisdiction that applies.
Can Demand Letters Be Effective?
There would be no reason for litigation if demand letters worked every time. That being said, if you think you should be charged and are willing to take legal action, a demand letter may be extremely helpful and put the situation in writing. This should, at the very least, get the other party’s notice and show your “seriousness” about getting paid.