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Can I quote an attorney's opinion I got during a free

Can I quote an...

Can I quote an attorney's opinion I got during a free consultation? I would like to use what he said in a demand letter.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

I live in NH, but would likely file suit in Maryland or Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/10/2018
Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 874
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
Verified

Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources.

From looking over your question, it appears you consulted with an attorney and now you want to proceed on your own but use the strategy/counsel/guidance/opinion you received during the consultation - is that accurate?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
that is. Can I legally paraphrase or quote the attorney in my demand letter I have written on my own behalf?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I also have the demand letter I would like reviewed by an attorney to be sure I have not missed something important or get feedback on how it sounds. Is that something you would be interested in helping me with? Do you have any background with personal injury demand letters?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Are you there?

Opinions in legal cases are just that, opinions. As well, if the opinion is an expression of what the law is, that position is not unique to that attorney.

Now, since I am an attorney, I am never quick to tell someone to restate something exactly as it was set forth to them and that is it always best to paraphrase.

So that being said, I do not believe that if an opinion was given to you that there is anything proprietary in the opinion unless you signed off on or agreed to something that would restrict your using it.

Again, paraphrase is best, ***** ***** restatement of an argument or theory is something that is done all the time.

I have had dealings with demand letters in personal injury cases through my career. Is this to an individual or insurer?

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If there is a delay in my response, I am trying to be as detailed as possible. If you ask a question, rest assured I will answer.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks for that clarification. That helps. It is to a corporation -- Marriott International and or Starwood Hotels to be exact. But I don't know how to reach their insurance/law departments and exactly who to address it to, besides the hotel General Manager, who I was in personal contact with. But I feel as though it should go higher up and the way the letter is currently written it speaks of the General Manager and not TO him.

Stand by for a moment.

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Marriott International, Inc.*****br />Bethesda, MD 20817

Corporate Headquarters

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Im not finding a separate address for the legal department, so I would suggest sending a copy to the Corporate Operations manager, the Office of General Counsel and the manager at the specific location.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
OK, I got that, but shouldn't I send a certified letter to someone, like an adjuster, in their insurance/claims/legal department? How would I know who exactly that would be or would you recommend I send the demand letter to the GM of the property of which I stayed?
Also, what area of law do you have expertise in? Have you been successful with any personal injury demand letter and negotiations? I am a good writer and have an advanced degree, spent all day writing this letter, but would like some feedback. (and I just am uncomfortable paying an attorney upwards of $20-$40K to write a letter that I may be capable of writing (and subsequently negotiating a claim).
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
back to quoting a particular attorney, is there anything illegal about using their name as someone I have consulted?

Also, see this link here.

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I believe you can use the opinion in the demand letter.

I focus my work on negotiations and settlements. In this context I deal with demands letters; however, I rarely draft them now as regularly as I have in the past.

That having been said, I am happy to review the letter and provide my thoughts. Charge for that would be considerably less than the $20-$40k. I would charge $50 for it.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hahahahahaha!!!!!! OK, you have a deal!
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am still working on it. Can I put it in a Google Doc, invite you to edit it and have you add comments there?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
But I feel it is 95% done.

So procedure is as follows. I'll provide this as the answer to this thread. You'll need to accept and rate me. Once this is done and you have the document finished, reply to me in this thread and I will offer an additional service. You will accept it and then upload the document. I'll review it and provide feedback. Following that upon receipt you'll rate me again and the second charge will occur.

Good enough?

Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 874
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
Verified
Sean K and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
is our work here confidential and are you required to give me feedback that is in my best interest? (You say that you work in settlements, so perhaps you work on the "other side" typically for defendants?) And, if this is the case, I can trust that you are required to give me advice that would benefit solely me (my heirs and personal representatives) and not the defendant?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I paid a trial flat fee for this initial consult. Is that correct? Then I will pay for the editorial review on it when I send it off. I will attempt now to rate you and see what happens. What is your timeframe to read the letter (it is about 3 pages).

So let me address that directly. Anything that I do for you will be 100% confidential. Period, end of story. When I review your demand my focus will be for me to ask two questions

1 - Is the demand effectively communicating all causes of actions to support recovery?

and

2 - Is there anyway I can offer to revise/edit to increase the likelihood of recovery?

There will be absolutely no scenario where I would give any guidance that would not be in your best interest.

That doesn't mean that I won't point out areas of concern or suggest a risk/reward analysis, but I want you to have the maximized opportunity of recovery from the Defendant.

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One additional point. I am on the east coast and I won't be around that much longer, but have planned to be here tomorrow morning. I wanted to point that out as well. I say that to give you a timeframe on your completing and me reviewing.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok, me too. I am not going to mail it until Monday morning, as I am still gathering documents. Can I upload the draft here now, and can work on it when you get a chance either tonight or tomorrow? And can you please recommend how much detailed receipts and expenses and medical records I should include both in the letter and as attachments? Calculating all the losses of property and damages is daunting, and the attorney I consulted said that part is almost inconsequential. I am thinking of including about 10 photographs of my injuries.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I love the clarity in which you have responded to my questions. I am already impressed!

And yes, if you upload, I will have comments and suggestions to you by tomorrow.

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Injury documentation is essential. I'll also address the expenses and receipts in context. I also agree with the counsel the attorney provided you as to the property loss/damage but may have questions about it.

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I will await the upload and proceed then.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Here is the letter. I am still clarifying exactly who and how many people it will go to. I do have the medical notes and pictures from Dartmouth Hitchcock (should those be included ?) and many, many receipts -- medical, travel, lodging, replacement items, etc. I look forward to working with you and to hear your feedback. Much appreciated at this late hour. (I am coming up on 1 year on the incident, and do not want records destroyed, so I am trying to meet that potential deadline, if in fact, that is one).

Got it!

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I am working on the review now. I am planning to use the Track Changes and Comments features of Word and wanted to see if this was ok?

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I'm all finished. Let me know when you are good for me to send this over.

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I have to go out for a bit, but I wanted to get the letter to you.

First and overall, the letter is very good. I didn't really change that much in substance and where I did, I noted the reasons I did so. I essentially attempted to streamline. I also attempted to make it a bit more claimant (Morgan's) weighted. I like for Defendant's to know you want to settle, but I like to pepper with some information that lets then know you are not only serious but prepared and well researched. You had already done this so I just repackaged a little as my notes show.

Most Defendants when they read a demand letter read the first couple of paragraphs and then jump to the end to see how much you are asking for. Anticipating this, I made a few organizations modifications.

Overall, I believe your letter will convey exactly what you need it to.

Let me know if you have questions.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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