Usually disputes don't happen out of the blue, usually things lead up to them. If the parties positions are clear what is the point of a formal demand letter before suing?

For example if person x sent an invoice to company y and they are ignoring his messages and phone calls, why not go straight to court instead of sending one more letter?

Can a demand letter be limiting if the plaintiff changes their mind about the compensation or charges? For example if the plaintiff sends a demand letter for $1000 can they change their mind to $2000 when going to court?


1 Answer 1


The demand letter usually serves as a preview of what the case might look like and can thus help to focus the other party on the issues.

For instance, I would usually attach a copy of the complaint I'm filing to the letter. This simultaneously alerts the reader to the seriousness of the threat of litigation, the imminence of that threat, and the potential liability that they face.

All of these things can help expedite a settlement, which is the ultimate purpose of most demand letters. In some cases, a demand letter is also a statutory prerequisite to a successful lawsuit.

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