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Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Letter

June 12, 2014
  By Daniel H. Stoner, Esq.

Throughout our lives we will all encounter instances where other people try to take advantage of us. When this occurs it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with. When your contractual and legal rights are being ignored or outright violated there are a number of things which you can do to remedy the situation. One possible solution is to resort to lawsuits and litigation to resolve these problems, however litigation is very expensive, and the costs of bringing a case to court can easily outweigh the losses you are suffering from the problem itself. Because of this, many people may feel as though their only options are to simply allow their rights to be violated or to engage in courtroom drama that they can neither afford nor desire to engage in. However, in my experience, a well written letter from an attorney can remedy many of these problems in an effective and affordable manner.

A Demand Letter (also known simply as an “Attorney Letter”) is a letter addressed towards the individuals or businesses that are harming you which clearly states the problem at issue, why the other party is in the wrong, and how the problem can be fixed. Common uses that I have seen have been with writing to insurance companies wrongfully denying coverage for a legitimate claim, or a business which is violating or ignoring the rights of an employee, or a person who is violating a contract and harming the other parties involved.

These letters must be carefully worded, and must state in clear terms why the other party is not entitled to act in the manner in which they are acting. They do not need to be overly lengthy, and can be done for little cost. You can have the letter sent from the Attorney using their letterhead (which often shows the other side that you mean business), or can be “ghost written” by an Attorney for you to send yourself if you do not want to reveal that you have obtained counsel in your matter.

In my experience these letters can be incredibly effective, and more often than not can succeed in getting the other party to cease their destructive behaviors. I have personally seen many controversies settled quickly without any party having to resort to legal action by simply sending an effective letter. It is true that every case is different, and a party may still choose to ignore the legal rights of others even after being sent a letter, in which case litigation may need to be resorted to. However from my own personal experience, well drafted letters that effectively state the concerns at issue can succeed more often than they will fail.

It is generally the case that when people take advantage of others they often do so because they think that they can get away it. They want to put the onus on you to decide whether you want to do something about it. An effective letter can show these types of people that you will not tolerate being taken advantage of, and that you will not allow them to get away with it.   This shifts the onus back on to them. Once they get the message that you mean business, they will have to decide whether they want to deal with the consequences of continuing their conduct. For many people, this is enough to make them decide that trampling over your rights is not worth it. While there will always be instances where litigation is ultimately the only way to deal with an issue, there are many more instances where litigation is not the only way to deal with it. If you are dealing with a situation where you are being taken advantage of or your rights are being violated it may feel as though your only recourse is to engage in costly litigation that you can neither afford nor desire to engage in. However it is important to keep in mind that there are numerous options available to resolve controversies, and you should never underestimate the power of a good letter.


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