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The Threat of an Attorney Demand Letter

Don’t panic. One of the great things about being an attorney is that for those inexperienced with them, people listen to your correspondence. For those in the business, this wears off pretty quickly. For some, the scariest thing sometimes is to get a demand letter from an attorney.

First thing to do – do not panic. The most valuable way to assess this letter is to do so without emotion as this correspondence is designed to intimidate, anger, and set forth a position that you will probably not like. Before overreacting, consider some of these factors.

  • If the facts are “all wrong,” realize that the attorney sent the demand usually with facts only from a single perspective of her client.
  • The common purpose of a demand letter is to settle the matter before litigation–try to look at it in the same fashion.
  • The settlement offer, if any, is structured so that the sending party leaves herself a bargaining position, so as to not appear weak.
  • Take legal theories argued in a demand letter with careful consideration, but understand that the attorney is free to allege all kinds of legal theories without much scrutiny within a mere letter.

Depending on the severity of the allegation(s) you’ll likely need to engage counsel to respond to any such demand letter, but if you have a working understanding that these letters, you are more likely to approach the matter in a better mindset.

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  • Ep 19: Capital One, What’s in Your Home

    February 24, 2014

    Nasir and Matt start the show off discussing Facebook’s newest acquisition (WhatsApp), how Capital One’s credit card policy allows entry into consumer’s homes, the importance of new top level domains to small businesses, and how to not respond to a (fake) employee quitting.  They also answer questions concerning about hiring a minor, what expense you can […]

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  • Ep 18: Dumb Starbucks

    February 17, 2014

    In this week’s episode Nasir and Matt discuss the Dumb Starbucks store that surfaced in Los Angeles, an NFL player voiding his contract for more guaranteed money, and employees at Starbucks questioning a disabled veteran with a service dog.  They also welcome special guest Reggie Lal to discuss Ponzi schemes in real estate investing.  Nasir and Matt […]

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  • Ep 17: The 12th Man

    February 10, 2014

    Nasir and Matt kick off this week’s episode by discussing Microsoft partnering with Foursquare.  They also talk about Texas A&M licensing use of the “12th Man” to the Seattle Seahawks, the FTC going after a mega spammer, and the backlash by developers of King.com’s “candy” trademark.  Nasir and Matt answer questions about legal concerns of running […]

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  • Ep 16: Another Show about Pizza?

    February 03, 2014

    In this week’s episode, Nasir and Matt discuss some of Obama’s planned executive actions for 2014, Ohio pizzerias breaking employment laws, the importance of forum selection causes in contracts, and the crazy story behind one man losing his Twitter handle.  They also answer questions about changing business agreements, being an at-will employee, and running multiple […]

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  • Ep. 15: Fresh Off the Press

    January 27, 2014

    Nasir and Matt discuss a new law mandating paid sick leave for employees in New York City, the Union-Tribune in San Diego losing a lawsuit for misclassifying independent contractors, small businesses finding another loophole in the Affordable Care Act, and one person’s opinion to never do online banking for your business.  They also answer questions […]

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  • Ep. 14: A Golden Ticket Promotion

    January 20, 2014

    Nasir and Matt start things off by discussing one company’s huge victory over Yelp, and then get into Staples’ motives for cutting the hours of part-time employees and the FTC cracking down on Sensa for weight loss claims.  The two give a call to former gym owner, Noah Mangus, to discuss cancellation policies for gyms and the […]

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  • Ep. 13: Seacrest Out, Blackberry In

    January 13, 2014

    Nasir and Matt discuss Blackberry’s lawsuit against Ryan Seacrest, the changes to the small business health care tax credit, when unpaid volunteers can be considered employees, and combating bad weather for a business.  The two also answer questions about being responsible for debt in dissolved companies, valuation ideas for startups, and a partner withholding access […]

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  • Ep. 12: Ringing in the New Year, in Texas?

    January 06, 2014

    Nasir and Matt kick off 2014 discussing the new changes to Obamacare, a bookkeeper stealing from the business she works for, the consequences of raising minimum wage, and the backlash surrounding Uber’s surge pricing.  They also answer questions about paying yourself in an LLC, copyright infringements in a t-shirt printing business, and working with international […]

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  • Ep. 11: That’s What She Said

    December 30, 2013

    In the final episode of 2013, Nasir and Matt discuss an age discrimination case involving the Maui police department, FICO opening up to small businesses, the lawsuit over a copyright on the Baltimore Ravens’ logo, and the merger of Elance and oDesk.  The two also answer questions concerning starting a business at the end of […]

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  • Ep. 10: Smart San Diego Business with the Mayor

    December 23, 2013

    For the 10th episode of the podcast, Nasir and Matt welcome Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and former mayor of San Diego.  The three of them discuss the jobs outlook in San Diego for 2014, the importance of retaining quality employees, and the value of craft breweries in […]

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  • Ep. 9: Phil Mickelson’s Home Office (he’s a golfer)

    December 16, 2013

    This week’s episode kicks off by discussing a photographer winning a lawsuit against Getty Images, businesses in Washington getting scammed over workplace posters, disability lawsuits targeting small businesses, Domino’s Pizza involved in a minimum wage dispute, and an animated reenactment of a recent Bob Filner suit.  Nasir and Matt also answer questions about someone stealing your business’ name, […]

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  • Ep. 8: Too Hot to Work & Too Cold to Shop

    December 09, 2013

    Nasir and Matt discuss Amazon’s refusal to sell a company’s products, one company’s lawsuit against a customer who wrote a negative review, Swarm Mobile’s attempt to track consumers inside stores, and the most recent lawsuit filed by the woman claiming to be too hot.  The two also answer questions about dissolving a company with debt, bringing […]

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  • Ep 7: Patent Trolls

    December 02, 2013

    In this week’s episode, Nasir and Matt debate how patent firms affect small businesses, discuss the importance of Small Business Saturday for local businesses, and analyze the lawsuits surrounding companies offering fake markdowns–anyone hear of false advertising?  The two also welcome guest Tyler Jensen of The Startup Garage, who offers his take on making financial […]

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  • Ep 6: Mining for Bitcoins

    November 25, 2013

    Tyler Sickmeyer of Fidelitas Development crashes the podcast, offering his perspective on stories about lawsuits surrounding the legitimacy of negative Yelp reviews, the crackdown on Airbnb and the sharing economy, the possibility of Facebook disappearing, and the legalities of fake online profiles.  Tyler also assists Nasir and Matt in answering questions about making employees work […]

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  • Ep. 5: Bean Counting with the IRS

    November 18, 2013

    This week Nasir and Matt discuss the legalities of Google’s virtual library, the lawsuit brought by Yelp reviewers, and watching porn in the workplace.  They also discuss the IRS shifting its audit focus with the help of Brad Gastineau of Gatto, Pope & Walwick, LLP.  Nasir and Matt also answer questions about employees making special […]

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  • Episode 4: Sauce vs. Crust

    November 11, 2013

    This week’s episode features stories about restaurant trade secrets, the falling out of a coffee shop partnership, and the assumption of risk involved in attending sporting events.  Nasir and Matt also answer questions about what a business should trademark, getting compensated for free services, and how to fire an employee.  Matt also recounts his experience […]

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  • Episode 3: Big Yellow Taxi

    November 04, 2013

    In their third episode, Nasir and Matt debate the significance of company culture, voice their opinions on legal directories, and discuss a newly formed taxi cab union.  They also answer questions about an employee taking his company’s domain name, whether it’s better to purchase or start a business, and the difference between employees and independent […]

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  • Episode 2: Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza

    October 29, 2013

    Nasir and Matt discuss the questionable business decision that led to Deepak Chopra’s lawsuit, a new insight into Twitter’s valuation, the class action lawsuit of the week involving some big names participating in no-hire pacts, and new SEC proposals for crowdfunding.  Nasir and Matt also answer questions about ending a business partnership, the effect of non-competes, making […]

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  • Episode 1: Basement Slave Labor

    October 21, 2013

    In our first episode, we answer questions sent to Top Floor Legal regarding the legal needs of businesses.  We also cover the most recent Amazon lawsuit, the Legal Zoom v. Rocket Lawyer case, and the situation surrounding Arian Foster taking himself public.  We close by discussing a perplexing blog post on how to draft your own contract.

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