An effective demand letter can expediently resolve a dispute without litigation. But a poorly conceived demand letter can accelerate a dispute toward litigation and even generate negative publicity. Like all correspondence, demand letters need to be tailored in tone and content for varied audience, both the intended recipient and other foreseeable recipients.
Beyond the intended recipient, the audience for a demand letter could encompass insurance adjusters, in-house counsel, and perhaps even the public via social media or press coverage. Therefore, an effective demand letter should not only be polite but firm, but also tell a persuasive story that evokes incredulity at noncompliance by foreseeable recipients. In addition to writing to various audiences, telling your client's story in a demand letter can benefit from using straight forward wording, conducting due diligence regarding the dispute, and keeping track of the big picture. [excerpt]