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I have received a cease and desist letter from a lawyer in Austria demanding I remove a number of facebook posts that ask critical questions about the (non) functioning of their product.

After this letter had been delivered the client continued to contact me personally via phone and email (neither of which I had given him) demanding private conversations. Even though his lawyer had already sent a letter threatening legal action a week later he sends me an email from his company account again demanding a private conversation and threatening legal action.

This feels threating and harassing. I have explained that I have no intention of a private conversation and that any discussion about his product should happen in public if he wishes to answer the questions I have put.

My conclusion from his actions is that his lawyer has rightly told him he has no case. He is selling a device that he claims to be a "chip" yet I bought one and dissected it and it had no components and an empty circuit board with some magnets glued on.

  1. Would a lawyer advise their client to keep contacting the defendant in this case?
  2. What I am mainly curious about is that this original legal letter came with a demand for money - 360 euros to be precise. Is this legal in Austria? If there is no real intention of legal action is it just a shakedown attempt?

Do I have recourse to go to the Police?

2 Answers 2

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There are answers between black and white.

One might honestly believe to be owed €360, and demand that money in a lawyers' letter, and be prepared to write that demand off if the other party does not comply. Going to court has an uncertain outcome even if one is objectively right, and it will take effort and money.

As you describe the events, it looks like an intimidation attempt, but the other side will have their narrative as well. Regarding the phone and mail communications, this could be harassment or an attempt to reach a pre-trial settlement. Again, it depends on details.

If you feel harassed, talk to a lawyer.

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In general, the opposing site is only forbidden from contacting you directly once YOU have announced which lawyer represents you (from which point on they need to go through your lawyer).

Likewise, while it is intimidating, it is not legally intimidation to threaten you with a court, because only threats of ILLEGAL actions qualify for that. Threatening to beat you up is illegal because the act of beating you up is illegal. Threatening to go to court is not illegal, because going to court is an absolutely legal thing to do.

That said: Them selling you something that it isn't is fraud, so you can go to police/court for that.


That said - and IANAL and this is not legal advise - if I were in your place, I'd answer them that you dispute their claim of payment, because they have not yet delivered the goods in question. What they have delivered cannot possibly be the advertised good because if it were, it would be a fraud. You'll be happy to pay once they deliver what was promised.

(the legally important part is disputing the claim, this makes it harder for them to get a court judgement against you for not paying)

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