When you have an issue with an individual or company’s unlawful or improper conduct, a cease and desist letter can provide a powerful solution. These letters inform the recipient that you are aware of their improper behavior and that you will take further action if the problem continues. But not all cease and desist letters are created equal. To have the greatest impact, you should understand the intricacies of this powerful legal tool and consult with experienced New York lawyers when necessary.

In this article, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of cease and desist letters in New York, including what they can accomplish, how to draft them, and when to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

What is a Cease and Desist Letter?

A cease and desist letter is a powerful legal tool used to demand that the recipient stop an unlawful or improper act that is currently taking place or about to take place. These letters are most often sent in response to copyright or trademark infringement, but can also be used to stop other types of unlawful behavior, such as defamation, slander, or harassment.

When a cease and desist letter is sent, the recipient must stop the offending behavior immediately or risk facing additional legal action. But it’s important to remember that these letters are generally considered to be “cease and desist letters without prejudice”, meaning that if the recipient takes no further action, the sending party may pursue legal action.

What Can a Cease and Desist Letter Accomplish?

The primary purpose of a cease and desist letter is to put an end to unlawful or improper behavior. The letter should make it clear that it is coming from a legally recognized party and that any further action could result in serious consequences for the recipient. In some cases, the letter is enough to get the recipient to immediately cease the improper activity. In other cases, it can prompt the recipient to find a resolution that is agreeable to both parties.

In addition to putting a stop to improper behavior, a cease and desist letter can also compel the recipient to repay any money or property that was taken as a result of the unlawful act. For example, if someone steals your trademark and uses it to sell their own products, a cease and desist letter can demand that they pay back all profits made from this illegal activity.

How to Draft a Cease and Desist Letter

When drafting a cease and desist letter, it’s important to be clear about the recipient’s unlawful behavior and provide a timeline for when they must stop the activity. The letter should also include the potential legal consequences of not complying with your demands.

When writing the letter, be mindful of both New York and federal law. For example, if you’re claiming someone is infringing upon a trademark, be sure to include information regarding the mark’s registration and your claim of statutory damages. It’s also important to make sure your letter is courteous and respectful.

When to Seek the Advice of a New York Lawyer

Cease and desist letters can be powerful legal tools, but they are not always sufficient to protect your interests. Before sending a cease and desist letter, it’s important to consult with experienced New York lawyers who understand local laws and regulations and can provide guidance on the best course of action for your situation.

At UpCounsel, we can connect you with knowledgeable attorneys who have experience in many legal areas, from corporate law to contract law. Whether you need a one-time consult or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel’s network of experienced lawyers has you covered. From small businesses to the Fortune 1000, groundbreaking companies of all sizes trust UpCounsel and its attorney community to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services.


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