Demand letters are a tool that lawyers frequently use to enforce his or her client’s rights. Demand letters are often very effective at resolving issues before a client spends money on preparing for trial. Sometimes, however, demand letters are abused by attorneys to try to squeeze money out of an opposing party who may have done no wrong but cannot afford to defend a full-blown lawsuit.
Read the article, Getty Images Sued Over Settlement Demand Letter: ‘Unfair, Deceptive Scheme,’ Copyright Lawyers Claim, which is about a lawsuit against a company that sent an apparently abusive demand letter claiming copyright infringement. The article states that “[y]ou can’t just send out a letter, accuse somebody of infringing and demand money from them. You have to know that they did something that would entitle you to that money.”
What are your thoughts on whether demand letters can be abusive and the basis of a lawsuit? What other ethical considerations come into play when writing from an adversarial position, whether to opposing counsel or the court? Explore the Web to find examples of legal writing from correspondence to appellate briefs arguing the law. Revisit examples of legal writing in our e-text. Identify and explain what you see are the key skills necessary to be successful in legal writing. How does the purpose and construct of the writing direct the content and tone of the writing? Finally, how would we cite the article listed for this discussion board in Bluebook format?