Should I have an attorney send a letter?

Do Not have attorney send letter

Should I Have an Attorney Send a Letter? Probably Not!

Should I have an attorney send a letter?  Probably not.

As an attorney, I am sometimes asked if I can “send a letter” to solve some problem or situation.

The better question to ask your attorney is, “should I have an attorney send a letter for me?”

People think that if the person who is giving them trouble gets a letter from an attorney, he or she will quake in terror and completely capitulate. Rarely is that so.

Typically a letter will have one of two responses:

1.    The other party will play the part of an ostrich and keep his or her head in the sand.  The fear that the person gets is not a fear of the lawyer, but a fear of doing anything.  They have not responded yet, and they won’t respond now.

2.    The other party will “lawyer up” and not deal with you directly anymore.  Your situation just got more expensive.

Further, people often want a letter to be a stern demand letter. The purpose of the letter is (hopefully) to resolve the situation; you don’t get that by threatening or berating the other party.  If a letter goes out at all, it should be thoughtfully considered with the purpose being to encourage the other party to see things your way.  Your lawyer has a lot of experience in the emotional responses that people have and you have a lot of experience with the other person.  Between the two of you, you should be able to figure out the best way to proceed.

Sit down with an attorney and have a discussion about what will work best in your particular situation.  It may be a letter, but that may only be one option for you to take.  Sometimes, sending a letter just adds cost and delays the inevitable.

If you do send a letter, you had best be prepared with a plan Plan B.

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