Demand Letter

Demand Letter

Effective communication plays a pivotal role in resolving a dispute before more formal – and costly – legal proceedings.  Frequently, “demand letters” serve as a first step in seeking a resolution.  If you are curious about how a demand letter could help in your particular situation, reach out to a seasoned dispute attorney for guidance. 

What Is A Demand Letter?

A demand letter is a written document, typically drafted by an attorney on behalf of a client, outlining a grievance, claim, or legal demand against another party.  Demand letters usually include:

  • the legal basis for the claim,
  • the facts supporting the claim,
  • the specific remedy sought, and
  • a deadline for a response.
What Are The Benefits of Sending A Demand Letter?

A demand letter is usually sent as an attempt to resolve a dispute before resorting to litigation.  It is helpful to compare a demand letter with filing a complaint and starting a litigation to understand the benefits.

A demand letter may lead to the parties resolving a situation privately, quickly, and voluntarily.  On the other hand, litigation is slow, expensive, and unpredictable.  Also, court filings (with minor exceptions) are public records and expose your dispute to the world; you may not want that.  Finally, filing suit against someone could cause more damage to that relationship than sending a demand letter would, as demand letters are private and may allow you to repair a relationship without airing your dirty laundry.  Sending a demand letter before filing a lawsuit tends to be a more practical first step, as you can always escalate and start a litigation later (subject to statutes of limitation).

If you are the person with a potential claim, sending a properly drafted demand letter will not affect your rights to sue the other person in the future.  Make sure you select a qualified attorney to draft your demand letter so that you do not waive any of your procedural and substantive rights, such as the statute of limitations mentioned above.

What Happens If A Demand Letter Is Ignored?

Ignoring a demand letter can have significant legal consequences. While not legally binding, a demand letter signals a potential legal claim against you if the issue(s) are not addressed. If you fail to respond or address the concerns raised in the demand letter, the other side may start formal legal proceedings.

What To Do When You Receive a Demand Letter?

Receiving a demand letter requires prompt legal advice; consult with an experienced attorney to assess the validity of the claims and explore potential avenues for resolution.  Ignoring or dismissing the letter may escalate the situation and lead to a costly legal battle.  Engaging in open communication and seeking legal advice early on can often pave the way for negotiated settlements or alternative dispute resolution methods, saving time and resources for all parties involved.


​Navigating the intricate realm of legal disputes often begins with the strategic use of demand letters.  If you find yourself in a disagreement or considering asserting your rights through a demand letter, our team of experienced dispute attorneys can offer thoughtful solutions to achieve a favorable outcome.  For more information about next steps, reach out to a member of our team.

Romano Law can provide guidance on a demand letter in New York, California and Florida.


Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash


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