A cease and desist letter is a letter that is written with the intent of stopping certain activities such as slander, stalking, harassment, trademark violations, and more. It is also known as a C&D. It is made with the purpose of letting a recipient know that any activity must be stopped, or else they risk legal action.
Although with some research you might be able to write a C&D yourself, it is very much recommended that you use a lawyer for this, to ensure that the letter is properly written. The amount of money you will be required to pay for having a letter of this type written will depend on several factors, including your geographical location, the complexity of the issue, the individual or company you’re going after, the lawyer you employ, and whether the case will reach the court or not.
How much does a cease and desist letter cost?
A cease and desist letter will usually cost somewhere between $150 and $400 per hour to have written by a lawyer. Of course, there are lawyers that charge more or less, depending on their experience and popularity, some even charging as much as $1,100 per hour when a case reaches the court.
For most cease and desist letters, an attorney will require anywhere between two and eight hours to complete, as they will have to conduct some research for your particular situation, to ensure that you are on the right side of the law when sending the letter.
This means that you should consider setting aside anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000 for the whole process of creating and then sending the letter. Nevertheless, if you’re only trying to send someone a “warning”, this shouldn’t cost more than $200 to $500.
A thread on Avvo.com talked about needing a completely different approach when looking to warn a larger company, like Kodak or Nike, which might make this procedure lengthier and more costly.
Allyson & Taylor Attorney firm, on the other hand, says on their professional blog that their firm will charge around $1,200 for these services. This sum can vary depending on your specific situation.
Other intellectual property law attorneys say that you should be able to find someone willing to charge under $600 for having all of the necessary paperwork written when it comes to a Cease and Desist letter.
Cease and Desist letter overview
You will be able to get a consultation from most lawyers before they actually start working on the C&D so that you know what they will be able to do and whether they even recommend a letter of this type to be sent. As Lawyers still have to abide by ethical obligations, there are instances in which they will consider that a C&D isn’t necessary, as they won’t be able to pursue the case you present.
In cases where the C&D is necessary, the lawyer will have to do the necessary research around your case and then write up a letter that although will be made on a template, will pinpoint your exact problem, as well as the exact requirements for the recipient to resolve the issue. The attorney will also keep you updated throughout the process after the C&D is sent out, as they might be required to follow up on the letter.
The most common uses for this type of letter are issues like collection agency harassment, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and general harassment issues.
There are also examples of cease and desist letters on the Jux Law Firm’s website, to get a better idea of what the template should look like.
What are the extra costs?
Depending on how much time the attorney will need to spend with you after the letter is sent, you will be charged additionally for all calls and emails. It is also a good idea to agree with the attorney to have them stay in contact with the party, as the recipient will most likely reply to the letter.
Attorneys can also go one step further and take your case to court if the other party doesn’t respond. This would translate into considerably higher fees, depending on how long the court case lasts.
Important things to consider
Before you have an attorney write this type of letter, make sure you ask them whether this will be effective or not. For example, you might notice that a lot of websites choose to just ignore the request, which means that you will pay a lot of money for basically no changes.
Although this shouldn’t be your goal, it wouldn’t hurt if you knew what litigation you can ensue when considering this type of letter. As you might know, although you hope the other party will just cave at your first C&D letter, this is hardly the case most of the time.
It’s very common for the other party to file a lawsuit against you with the claim that the letter didn’t address an infringement of any type.
Some specific situations will also require you to send other documents when following through with the process. Two examples of documents are license agreements or affidavits, depending on your case.
How can I save money?
As laws are often very intricate, although you can write your own cease and desist letter, you really should avoid doing it, as there may be legal implications you don’t know about. You can find a great article on BlawgIt.com about why it is never a good idea to write a C&D letter on your own and why you should definitely hire a professional.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a free consultation, as most lawyers will do this. This is a great chance to meet the professional who will work for your case and talk about your options. When possible, find a lawyer that deals specifically with these types of issues.