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Context: Florida, a plaintiff contends that a financial decision made collectively by the board does not comply with specific bylaws calculations resulting in damages (not receiving proper monetary share). Attempts (formal motion in meeting and emails) to correct issue was voted down by the board. I do not expect the board to change its position based on the demand letter, however, I want to ensure that the demand letter is viewed positively by a judge or the like. If a letter can be crafted to tip the scales in changing the board's mind, any guidance is appreciated.

My questions have bullet points of what I understand, however, I seek the wisdom of the experience and lessons-learned with respect to the questions:

What are the goals of a demand letter?

  1. Request Specific & Actionable Remedies
  2. Persuade the reader (judge) to conclude ???
  3. Persuade the reader (board) to conclude ???
  4. Any other sensible goal?

If you have added a goal please advance to the question: Having established the goals, what strategies support an effective demand letter?

Example: "Communication Considerations" Demand letter goals:

  • letter is organized
  • letter is sent ASAP
  • no inappropriate threats

Is there a good template that embodies goal-driven strategy? or is this held tightly by practitioners/

Finally, to what degree does a judge (or similar authority) expect the demand letter need to provide financial data and communications to support any demands, claims and assertions? Is it enough to reference the email dates and subjects, that was sent to all board members? Guidance (pointers to examples) to understand what degree of detail is appropriate within the context is appreciated by this newbie. This questions posed because data is voluminous and would delay the letter.

  • Is the demand letter listed yours or just an example? – Putvi Apr 12 at 20:03
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What are the key elements of an effective demand letter?

Your phrase of "not receiving proper monetary share" indicates that the situation is an instance of breach of contract. As a demand letter, your demand should be that the board comply with the bylaws and mend any damages caused so far.

But, since you already have litigation in mind, it might be convenient if the letter reflects the board's history of deliberate disavowal in this matter. Preferably you will do this by attaching to the letter key records --such as emails, their minutes of meetings, etc.-- and developing any necessary references thereto in your letter. The idea is to file a copy of your [patently received] letter, its attachments, and the board's response --if any-- as exhibit in your complaint.

Is there a good template that embodies goal-driven strategy? or is this held tightly by practitioners

No. The best template or format for such a letter is the one that reflects most clearly the wrongs that prompt you to file the lawsuit. It is once you decide to bring legal action when you would be strongly encouraged to follow the format of pleadings, motions, briefs, and responses that are typical in court.

In the first lawsuit I filed (case which is currently pending in the U.S. Supreme Court), I typed my pleadings on a form I downloaded from the [Michigan] court website. In hindsight, I would have followed instead the pleading format that is typical in civil court, as I did in the second lawsuit (see latter portion of this page) three months later (also pending in the SCOTUS).

Finally, to what degree does a judge (or similar authority) expect the demand letter need to provide financial data and communications to support any demands, claims and assertions? Is it enough to reference the email dates and subjects, that was sent to all board members?

For purposes of the demand letter (or even the complaint-pleadings in court), just include key records rather than voluminous financial data. The latter might be needed during discovery if the board denies your claims or takes a vexatious approach. By key records I mean --for instance-- email responses from the board that depart from evidence you will subsequently file in court. For the time being, it is more important to "corner" the board's statements so that during litigation it will be unable to switch versions without falling in pre-suit contradictions.

  • A terrific response! Seeking clarification regarding final statement regarding "cornering", I think what you mean is email from board members stating their position and a documentation (email) of meeting minutes indicate board voted not to correct the issue? – gatorback Sep 14 '18 at 16:13
  • @gatorback Yes, those are two examples that come to my mind. Since you know the situation, you might think of additional records that support your claims. The thing is that, as litigation develops, the defendant board will cling to different allegations once it realizes that the previous one(s) is (are) unlikely to prevail in court. Thus, some of your tasks will be to constrain their allegations and to highlight their material inconsistencies/contradictions. That is easier to attain if you have records, authored by or traceable to the board members, that pre-date the lawsuit. – Iñaki Viggers Sep 14 '18 at 17:01
  • @IñakiViggers "pending" in the Supreme Court? Both say denied. Pending ≠ denied. – A.fm. Aug 11 at 1:57
  • @A.fm. ""pending" in the Supreme Court? Both say denied. Pending ≠ denied." The status was pending as of Sep. 14 '18, the date of this answer. Sep. 14 '18 ≠ Aug. 11 '19. – Iñaki Viggers Aug 11 at 12:06

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