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Civil demand letter from New York attorney with a local attorney's name on it

Lakeland, FL |

Hi there, I received a Civil demand letter from Michael Ira Asen, attorney located in New York, however it also has the name of Mark A. Nelson, local counsel who is an attorney in Bradenton Florida. I live in Polk county Florida and the letter is in regard to a shoplifting incident at Jcpenney. I have a private attorney dealing with the case, but he was reluctant to advise me in either direction about the civil demand letter. Ive read the numerous civil demand questions and answers on this site, but my concern is the Florida attorney's signature that's on the letter. Does that make it more likely that I will be sued if I do not pay? The amount is 200 dollars, and the New York attorney the one wanting the payment.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you, (in some jurisdictions prove damages which they most likely couldn't do), and win. Even if they could win, the cost of pursuing this is substantially greater than any amount they can possibly recover so they usually don't. They send out these letters because it doesn't cost much and they are hoping that you don't know better and simply send them the money. Nothing will happen to you if you don't pay it and it doesn't matter that he got a Florida lawyer to add his name to the letter. Take a look at an article in the Wall Street Journal at the link provided below. 

  2. Your own attorney should be advising you. You pay him to do so.. Tell him "reluctance" is not representation.

    David R. Damore, Esq., Damore, Delgado, Romanik & Rawlins, Daytona Beach, FL, (386) 255-1400. Mr. Damore is a former Volusia and Broward County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

  3. If you want peace of mind, pay the $200. That is what they are counting on. If you don't want to pay...don't. They probably won't sue and you'll be fine. Now, along with the information provided by my colleagues and your attorney, you are fully informed. You simply must make a decision.

    This content is informational only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

  4. Hard to understand why your lawyer won't help you out with this, it's a very routine thing for the stores to go after this money. I agree with the other lawyer that you should get your lawyer to help you with this.

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