How Much Does a Cease and Desist Letter Cost?

Written by: Staff

A cease and desist letter, also known as a C&D, is a letter written in order to stop certain activities such as trademark violations, harassment, stalking, slander and more.  The purpose of this letter is to tell the recipient that all activity must be stopped or else legal action may ensue.  While a C&D can be written by any individual, it is highly recommended that a lawyer is brought in to make sure the letter is written properly.  The cost of writing a letter is going to depend on the lawyer, the complexity of the issue, your geographical location, who you’re going after and if the case has to go to court.

Old Court Room by Ed Bierman, on Flickr
Old Court Room” (CC BY 2.0) by Ed Bierman

How much does a cease and desist letter cost?

Most lawyers are going to charge on an hourly basis, and these hourly rates can range anywhere from $50 to $950 per hour.  For something such as a cease and desist letter, plan on spending $125 to $300 per hour to have a letter written up.

Most cease and desist letters will take up to two to eight hours to write up a letter due to the fact the attorney will have to conduct research for you as well as ensure that you have the right to send one out legally.  It is wise to set aside as much as $750 to $3,500 to complete the entire process; however, if it’s something as simple as “warning” someone, it could be as little as $200 to $400.  Bruce Burdick, an intellectual property law attorney from Illinois, said on that warning a large company, such as Nike or Kodak, could require a different approach than most and could require a different situation.

For example, states that the generation of a cease and desist letter with their firm can be around $1,200, but again, this is going to depend on the complexity of your situation.

Andra Marie Vaccaro, an intellectual property law attorney from California, says you should be able to spend under $500 if you have all of the necessary paperwork.

Cease and desist letter overview

Most lawyers will be able to consult with you ahead of time to let you know what they can do for you and if they recommend something such as a C&D.  There may be times when a C&D isn’t necessary and the lawyer won’t pursue the case since all attornies have ethical obligations to follow.

If a C&D is necessary, the lawyer will be able to research your case and write up a letter that pinpoints the exact problem, as well as what the recipient can do to resolve the issue.  After the C&D is sent out, the attorney will be able to follow up and keep you updated with the process.

This type of letter is commonly sent out for harassment issues, copyright infringement, trademark infringement and collection agency harassment.

To see what a cease and desist template looks like, the Jux Law Firm has examples on its website.

What are the extra costs?

Calls and emails after the letter is sent out will be charged depending on the time the attorney spent.  Since there is a good chance that the recipient is going to reply, it is best to have your attorney to stay in contact with the party.

If the party fails to respond, an attorney can take the issue one step further taking it to court, which would result in higher fees.

Tips to know

Even though an attorney can write a letter, ask them if it’s going to be effective.  For example, many websites will simply ignore your request and you could be faced with a high bill and no action.

When considering a letter, known what litigation you may ensue, even if this isn’t your goal.  While most people hope the other party caves in when reading the first C&D letter, this isn’t always the case.  Instead, the other party could file a lawsuit against you claiming the letter didn’t compromise of any infringement.

Depending on the situation, other documents may be required to follow through with the process.  For example, an affidavit or license agreement may be required.

How can I save money?

While you can write your own cease and desist letter, it is not wise to do so since there are so many legal implications that you may not know about. goes into detail about why you should hire a professional in your area.

Many lawyers will offer a free consultation.  This is your chance to meet with one and discuss your options.  Try to find a reputable lawyer in your area that deals with these type of letters.  If you don’t know where to look for a lawyer, offers a service that can connect you with a good lawyer.

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Average Reported Cost: $1037.5

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Mark (Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania) paid $75 and said:

    I paid my local lawyer a flat rate for a standardized C&D letter. It has worked out tremendously since so many people online have been stealing my photographs.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Josie paid $2000 and said: said:

    not worth it

    Was it worth it? Yes

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