July 18, 8: This story first appeared in the July 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
In May, litigator Marty Singer got one of his of his typical phone calls. Within hours, he had fired off one of his famous cease-and-desist letters and offered the club a choice: Rename the room or face an immediate multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
The name was quickly changed.
In the cutthroat world of Hollywood law, the pen can be mightier than the sword. With litigation costs skyrocketing and court dockets clogged, a forceful cease-and-desist letter is increasingly a much quicker and more effective weapon than the sharp blade of litigation.
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But it is not without risks. He and his firm, L. Make them think twice: Power Lawyers These days, Singer is hardly the only lawyer in Hollywood sending more threatening letters.
Google recently reported that it had received 2. An MPAA lawyer said that one studio alone was responsible for 41 million takedown notices in Now the letters themselves often become viral objects of curiosity online, prompting attorneys to debate whether the publicity that follows a takedown request is worth here the goal of sending the letter.
Johansson and Taylor Swift may have persuaded sites to pull nude photos, but perceptions of overaggressiveness also have consequences. Travolta and Singer were sued in June by an author whose book claiming the actor visited gay bath- houses prompted a Gawker story that Singer denied in a particularly nasty letter.
May 31, · How to Write Like a Lawyer, & Why You Never, Never, at the top right of every letter or other document teacher of legal writing. How to Write an Effectively Nasty who charges clients about $ an hour to suppress things like Scarlett Johansson nude “I write letters and hope they. New Lifehack contributor Laura McLellan offers 8 important tips on how to write a formal letter. SAMPLE LETTER TO YOUR ATTORNEY (Your name I am writing to introduce myself and to let you know that I would like to attend the court proceedings.
The author alleged the Singer missive, which claimed he had brain damage, was defamatory. Diary of Tom Cruise's Lawyer: Barbra Streisand in attempted to remove pictures of her Malibu home from a collection of 12, images taken by an aerial photographer of the California shoreline.
Before her lawyer cried foul, the photos were largely anonymous. Afterward, they spread online. Singer then made the letter public, after which the prominent law firm representing the woman was scared off.
Because overburdened courts and laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are making formal pre-litigation notices a fundamental feature of the judicial process, probably only one in every 10, takedown notices gets attention. Most of the time, a remedy is rendered without fuss, and only occasionally do demand letters incite countermoves.
But when that occurs, a dispute can provoke strong emotions. For example, in March, after an artist received a take- down notice from Summit on one of her paintings labeled on Zazzle. The five-year-old case is pending over damages. Despite the increase in nasty correspondence, attorneys say staying cool-headed is usually the best strategy in response.
Thinking like a lawyer
Marty Singer, left, with Charlie Sheen at April's entertainment lawyer of the year dinner.