Letter of Representation: Understanding Attorney Representation Letter

What is a letter of representation?

Why is an attorney letter of representation used and what’s the purpose?

In what type of cases are representation letters used?

In this article, we will go over all there is to know about a legal representation letter and answer all your questions.

Are you ready?

Let’s dive right in.

What is a letter of representation

A letter of representation is a document sent by your lawyer to the opposing party in a lawsuit indicating that you are now represented by counsel mandated to represent your interests. 

An attorney can represent one person, many people, businesses or legal entities. 

Typically, the attorney letter of representation is sent either when you intend to initiate a claim against someone or when you respond to a claim filed against you.

Either way, your attorney signals to the other party that you are now represented.

When is a letter of representation attorney used

When do we use an attorney letter of representation?

What are some examples of legal cases where we can expect to see a letter of representation of attorney letter?

In any legal matter, you can expect to see a legal letter of representation.

For instance, you can have a representation letter sent in the following legal matters:

  1. Letter of representation personal injury cases
  2. Letter of representation attorney family law
  3. Letter of representation business lawsuits
  4. Letter of representation professional malpractice 
  5. Letter of representation for car accident letter 

We can list so many more types of legal matters out there but you get the point.

The moment you have a lawyer who intends to formally represent you, a legal representation letter is sent to the opposing party to inform them of the identity of the lawyer representing you.

If the other party is represented by a lawyer, the letter of representation to opposing counsel will inform the other party’s lawyer that you are represented by counsel as well.

What is the nature and purpose of a letter of representation

The purpose of a letter of representation is to notify a person or party that you are legally represented by an attorney.

For instance, in the context of a personal injury lawsuit, a letter of representation will be sent to the party who was responsible for the personal injury along with the implicated insurance company.

When a person suffering personal injury retains the services of a personal injury lawyer, the attorney will immediately send a personal injury letter of representation to all the parties against whom a legal application may be filed against.

When the other parties involved become aware that you are represented by a lawyer, they may potentially engage in a negotiation process to settle the matter.

If there are no negotiations or possible settlement, the matter can then be pursued before the court.

At the minimum, letters of representation notify the other party that a person is represented by a lawyer.

In the best-case scenario, a settlement can be reached before the matter goes to court.

What is in the content of a representation letter

The content of a representation letter can vary but will generally convey some key pieces of information.

The legal representation letter will contain:

  1. Name, address and number of the law firm
  2. Name of the attorney representing you
  3. Name and address of the recipient of the letter
  4. The subject-matter
  5. A quick summary of why this letter is being sent
  6. An invitation to the receiving party that they can contact the attorney

In the example of a personal injury claim, you can also find the following additional information:

  1. Date of accident
  2. Place of accident
  3. Name of the insurance company 
  4. Insurance claim number
  5. Name of the insured person 

With this information, the at-fault party will understand that this is a personal injury representation letter and can act accordingly.

Letter of representation to third-parties

The letter of representation is intended to be sent to the opposing party or a party causing damages for which legal action may be taken.

However, the letter of representation can also be sent to third-parties.

In some cases, third-parties have information important for you and your lawyer to evaluate before filing a legal action in court.

In some states in the United States, the law requires the disclosure of insurance policy and coverage. 

This is called the letter of representation to insurance carrier.

For example, in Georgia, a letter of representation can be sent to an insurance company to get insurance coverage details.

In the context of a car accident or a personal injury claim, a lawyer may send a letter of representation to the insurance company to get:

  1. Insurance policy information
  2. Limits of coverage
  3. Details on primary coverage
  4. Excess coverage
  5. Umbrella coverage
  6. Written estimate of damages
  7. Copy of recorded statements
  8. Video or audio tapes

Once the insurance company discloses the insurance coverage details, then the victim of the accident and his or her lawyer can better assess how much can be claimed from the insurance and how much must be claimed directly from the at-fault party.

Benefits of letters of representation

The single most important benefit of a letter of representation is that you notify the other party that you are represented and channel all future communications through your lawyer.

Once your lawyer informs a party that you are legally represented, the other parties should then communicate directly with your attorney.

If they contact you directly, you can simply inform them that you have a lawyer that going forward they should reach out directly to your lawyer.

This gives you an important benefit as your lawyer can speak to the different parties, including the opposing counsel, without saying something harmful to your case.

Template representation letter

A letter of representation may vary depending on who is receiving and the reason why it’s being sent.

Most letter of representation templates will have the following framework:

  1. Date
  2. Recipient name
  3. Recipient address
  4. Subject line 
  5. Identification of law firm sending letter
  6. Identification of lawyer sending letter
  7. Description of why the letter is being sent
  8. Any specific demands
  9. Invitation to contact the attorney for questions
  10. Signature

A personal injury case, car accident case, family law matter or other legal matters may require that you add additional elements to your legal representation template.

Takeaway 

A letter of representation is a formal letter sent by your attorney to another party notifying them that you are legally represented. 

Letters of representation generally signal the commencement of legal recourse or claim against someone.

Following the letter of representation, all communication and correspondence should go directly to your counsel.

The purpose of a letter of representation is to inform a person that the services of a legal counsel have been sought and the person receiving the letter is the target in some fashion.

The letter of representation can be used in any type of legal action.

For example, it can be sent in the context of a personal injury case, car accident, business dispute or other.

The letter will identify your attorney, why the letter is being sent and what you are expecting from the party receiving it.

In some cases, the letter of representation helps as a catalyst for the parties to enter into negotiations and settle the matter before a lawsuit is formally filed in court.

Letters of representation can also be sent to third-parties like insurance carriers.

Depending on your jurisdiction, the law may allow a party victim of a personal injury to request insurance coverage details related to the at-fault party.

Lawyers will use a letter of representation to get insurance coverage details to better assess how much can be recovered from the insurance company and how much directly from the person.

We hope this article was useful in helping you better understand an attorney letter of representation.

Have you sent a legal representation letter to someone?

How was your experience?

We would love to hear from you, drop us a comment!