A general guide on How to Prepare a Demand Letter, but more specifically, a "Legal Demand"
A demand letter can be prepared by anyone and is typically done before a lawsuit. However, the purpose of hiring a lawyer to prepare a demand letter is to ensure that your legal rights are discussed within the letter causing it to become a legally- focused demand letter, or rather, a "Legal Demand".
IntroductionThis is the first section and it briefly informs the other side of the legal causes of action that you are asserting against them for what they did to you. This section also advises them to contact any form of representation that they may have available in case there is an entity that will provide them with coverage against your claim(s).
BackgroundThis section focuses on the facts! Were you a consumer who made a purchase or entered a lease or another agreement of some sort? Were you an employee? Were you part of a company or have an interest or share in a company? Did you have an insurance claim be denied? Are you dealing with a contract dispute? Are you a landlord or a tenant? Were you deceived, mistreated, or taken advantage of in some way by someone or some company?
Be specific. Detail is important. The facts are the foundation. What legal rights you have in this matter are based on the facts. If you have documentation proof of any kind to support the facts, you may want to consider attaching it or incorporating it into the Legal Demand.
Be graceful, accurate, and remember: presentation matters! Although you know the facts, an attorney can be very useful in guiding you on how to present the facts of your situation and which attachments or incorporations of proof, if applicable, to include.
Your Legal RightsThis section almost always requires the assistance of an attorney. You've stated your facts in the Background section at this point, and if you've hired a lawyer to assist you, then that lawyer is able to discuss in the Legal Demand which legal causes of action apply to your situation so that the opposing side is put on proper notice of your legal rights against them. In fact, your attorney might even address which specific provisions apply based on statutes, codes, case law, etc. You may have just a few legal causes of action such as breach of contract, negligence, or deceptive trade practices, etc., or you may have several causes of action--it all depends on the facts of your situation. Remember, the facts are the foundation for the law to be applied.
ConclusionThis is where you explain how you would like to resolve this situation. If you've hired a lawyer to assist you, your lawyer will be able to inform the opposing side of what you could be entitled to based on your legal causes of action that are discussed in the Legal Demand. Depending on your type of case, perhaps this section will discuss how you lost income over a specified period of time and you are seeking payment; or how much some form of damage cost you or will cost you and you are seeking coverage for it; or any attorney's fees you've incurred up to this point for which you are seeking reimbursement; or any amounts that you have paid or will pay because of the opposing side; or maybe you are demanding that someone or an entity cease and desist from what they are doing to you; any estimates; any amounts based on the mental/emotional impact of the situation that was caused by the opposing side. Those are just a few examples of what you could be demanding to resolve this matter. And remember to provide a deadline for the opposing side to respond. If the applicable law requires that you provide a certain time period, then an attorney can assist you with making sure that you provide that amount of time in your Legal Demand. Also, if you think there is a possibility that you will not resolve this matter favorably to you, and you think that you might want to file a lawsuit later, make sure that you discuss in your Legal Demand what could potentially happen if you file a lawsuit against the opposing side. An attorney can help you with that too.
A few last notesThis is a general guide for preparing a demand letter, or Legal Demand. This can apply to several different types of situations. When completed, either you, or if you hire an attorney, then your attorney should send it Certified Mail/ RRR. Nevertheless, this guide does not replace a consultation with an attorney.
Wishing you all the best!