In this three-part series, our Florida contractor attorneys are discussing the art of the demand letter. In the first section, we discussed why sending a demand letter can be a quick and cost-effective way to resolve a dispute. In the second section, we provided you with some important information to include in this document. In this final section, we will explain why you should employ a Florida contractor attorney to create your demand.
The Balancing Act
Demand letters must be formal, but also polite. Along with a polished and professional tone, it’s extremely important to not sound threatening in your letter. For contractors, seeking payment from an owner can be extremely personal. Hiring an attorney to craft your demand letter has many benefits.
Here are a few reasons why you should have an attorney create your demand letter:
- Diplomatic: You are removing the “personal” part of the equation. An experienced attorney will know how to be assertive, but in a professional tone. An attorney will also understand the language to use in the letter and the right aesthetics so it looks professional.
- Shows Your Intent: If a person receives a letter from an attorney rather than the affected party, this shows that the affected party has already taken the next step by contacting a lawyer and are serious about pursuing legal action. This should get the recipient’s attention.
- Legal Background: Your lawyer has experience in similar cases and can reference the specific laws that were broken or clauses violated in your contract. As we mentioned earlier in this series, because this document can be an exhibit in a case, having a lawyer create your demand can be beneficial in litigation.
Call to Action
One final thing that every demand letter should feature is what the next course of action will be if the demand for payment is ignored. In other words, you are stating that you are willing to take legal action against the owner if they fail to comply with your demand for payment. Even if your demand letter is ignored by the recipient, sending one before pursuing litigation only strengthens your case as this shows that the recipient willfully ignored every opportunity to compensate you for your hard work.
Along with having your attorney create your demand letter, contact Cotney Construction Law to draft, review, and revise all of your contracts. This can be an effective way to ensure you receive payment for all of your projects.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.