One of the services that we offer here at Scott Vicknair, LLC is writing legal letters. Different types of letters that our experienced attorneys write on a regular basis include advice letters, response letters, demand letters, appeal letters, cease and desist letters, complaint letters and more. One of the most commonly asked questions that our attorneys get is, do I need an attorney to write a demand letter?
When considering whether to use a professionally drafted legal letter written by an experienced attorney, it is helpful to know all the components of a legal letter. We have compiled a short list of basic “Do’s and Don’ts” of Legal Writing. Below is a detailed guideline about how to write a legal demand letter and the benefits of hiring an attorney to write a demand letter on your behalf.
How do I write my own legal demand letter?
- Introduction. Identify that you are writing a demand letter. Include your name and the company or person’s name (the recipient). Write a summary of the situation.
- Background. Give context to the situation. Who is involved? Where and when did the unwanted actions occur? For how long did it happen?
- Facts. Give only the cold hard facts. Do not give any false information. Your letter may be read in court as evidence, so do not say anything in writing that would hurt your case.
- Claim for damages. List out your rights and how you believe the recipient violated those rights. Explain why the other party’s behavior is unlawful and how it affected you negatively. Detail how you have been harmed by their behavior (emotionally, physically, financially).
- Demand. Specify the amount you are seeking to recover or the behavior you want to change to remedy the dispute.
- Conclusion. Set a specific deadline of 60 days from the date that you send the letter to get a response before moving forward with filing a lawsuit. Make sure to include what legal action you plan to take if they do not reply to the letter. Summarize your expectations and make it very clear that you may file a lawsuit if a remedy cannot be achieved informally.
The tone should be respectful but firm. The header needs to include the method of delivery, the date, the recipient’s name and address. Your writing style should be formal, clear, organized, specific and concise.
It seems so simple, I can just do it myself…
…are many famous last words.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Write a Demand Letter
An experienced attorney can improve the efficacy of your letter in multiple ways:
- The third-party involvement creates a sense of urgency and importance.
- The opposing party will take it seriously on legal letterhead.
- An attorney can help you identify what evidence you need to include.
- An attorney knows best how to handle disputes.
- An attorney will write an effective and persuasive letter.
- You may not be satisfied, and further action may be required.
If the opposing party does not comply, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you prepare for the next step. If you need to write and send a demand letter, call (504) 500-1111 or message to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Orleans attorneys.