Excellent article by someone who clearly has a fair bit of experience being threatened by lawyers. This is something that can happen to any business, particularly a successful business.
In short, Judd Weiss outlines three examples of his approach:
The more threatening the letter, the more references to precedent case numbers, the more terrifying the tone, the more they're covering up. The more they are compensating for lack of a legitimate case. Learn to smell a bluff.
When being bluffed, Judd's approach depends on the attorney's tone on the phone when he calls them. Reasonable, friendly sounding attorneys get dealt with reasonably. "Cold and technical" attorneys get served with:
The letter I received is without any merit whatsoever. You've given us 1 month to send your client $350,000 before you file a lawsuit. That's nice of you, but let's not drag this out and create movie suspense. Go ahead and file the suit tomorrow if that's in your client's best interest. But if I receive any more communication from your office beyond that this matter is dropped, I will sue your client and sue you personally for malicious prosecution according to CCP 128.7.
Finally, some attorneys are rude, nasty and condescending, and Judd deals with them by providing them with an answer they cannot seriously take back to their client without looking stupid.
Hacker News comments on the article are worth reading if you want to know more about this topic, as this approach will only work in the right context.
If you read this far, you should follow me on twitter here.