By On Oct 08, 2018 Form Templates
The late Judge David Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was a stickler for super-tight prose. Once, when his student clerk, Eugene Gelernter (now a New York City litigator), brought him a draft opinion, the great judge said: "Nice draft, Gene. Now go back and read it again. Take out every paragraph you dont need, then every sentence you dont need. Then go back and take out every word you dont need. Then, when you are done with that, go back and start the whole process all over again." We should all have such a mentor.
If you are writing the letter to the defendant personally, then typical demand letters tend to be short and sweet. But if the letter is being written to the insurance adjuster, most demand letters tend to go a little longer -- about four to five pages, depending on the facts and the causes of action claimed. In letters to insurance companies, its common to include case law and statutes.
Depending on whether or not a fee agreement has already been signed (or a retainer) your letters length and style will be dictated by a number of factors, including the subject and the sophistication of your client. Be cognizant of your clients ability to understand. Is your client requesting a demand letter from someone who injured him in a car crash? In PI cases, the length of the letter may be as much a function of whether or not the defendant has insurance (i.e., money).
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