• 2023.08.23
  • Dispute Resolution

Warning Letter

Outline of the case

After having applied for participation in a trip to the U.S. and paid the trip fee (400,000 yen), the trip itself was cancelled due to local transportation disruptions. Despite the applicant’s request for the refund of the trip fee, the travel agency in the U.S. was unwilling to refund the trip fee, claiming that the person in charge was not available.

Request for Return of Payment by Warning Letter

Our firm received a detailed explanation from the client about the previous circumstances, and was shown the name of the person in charge and the e-mail correspondence to date. We wrote an e-mail in English to the person in charge in the U.S. and asked for the refund of the payment, and the full amount of the payment was immediately refunded. In the English e-mail, we clearly described the details of the case and made it clear that if there was no immediate response, we would file a lawsuit in Japan.

How to Send a Warning Letter

Warning Letters may be sent by mail, but in recent years, most Warning Letters are sent by e-mail. Documents also have the same legal effect in court as regular mailed documents.

Effect of a Warning Letter by an Attorney

We suspect that travel agencies in the U.S. received a variety of complaints and consultations from travelers and were not able to respond promptly to all cases. In some cases, especially when the person in charge retires or is replaced, there may not be an adequate handover. Unlike Japanese companies, where each section of a company operates independently, it is sometimes the case that no one takes seriously the cases handled by other employees. Under such circumstances, even if a letter arrived in English directly from a Japanese traveler, it was highly likely that confirmation of the facts and determination of responsibility would be put on the back burner and left untouched. In this case, Kuribayashi handled the case directly and provided an explanation in a document with some formality using the law firm’s letterhead, which made the recipient aware of the possibility of a lawsuit or other major problem if the case was left unattended, and they were able to respond quickly. The final warning letter is called a Final Warning Letter. In cases where the client has contacted us directly and we have not taken the case seriously, it is often possible to resolve the dispute by giving notice from the attorney. The content of the letter to be sent to the U.S. is prepared in both Japanese and English, and is submitted after reviewing it with the client in advance, so that the client can proceed with the procedure with a full understanding and consent of the method and content of the discussions.

Reply Letter or Rebuttal

A Reply Letter is a written response from the other party to a Warning Letter, and if the Reply Letter indicates that the other party has a certain resolution policy or is seeking a reasonable resolution, the conditions for resolution are presented. On the other hand, if the other party refuses to accept the contents of the Warning Letter and makes a counterargument, it means that there is a difference of opinion between the parties, and it is necessary to clarify why such a difference of opinion has occurred while confirming the other party’s claims. In legal terms, this process is called “clarification of issues. In order to clarify the points of contention, we sometimes have repeated exchanges of e-mails with the other party. A document containing a counter argument from the opposing party is called a rebuttal or counter argument.

Preparation of Rebuttal and Counter Argument

Our firm also prepares Rebuttal and Counter Argument in the case of claims from abroad. The Rebuttal may be filed in the name of the client, or we may file it in the name of our firm on behalf of the client.

Points to keep in mind when preparing Rebuttal and Counter Argument

Rebuttal and Counter Arguments are treated as important evidence at trial because they reflect the opinions of the opposing party. If the other party’s allegations or facts are admitted in a Rebuttal or Counter Argument, it is highly likely that the allegations or facts will be accepted by the trial court. What is claimed in good faith as a party may contain inappropriate expressions from a jurist’s point of view (finding of constituent facts). If a company’s staff prepares a Rebuttal or Counter Argument on their own, they should consult with a legal professional before doing so.

Collection of Debts by Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office on Your Behalf

We understand that it is often difficult to collect debts from overseas business partners, such as failure to receive payment for goods, failure to pay money lent to an overseas company, or failure to pay promised money, and we often end up having to leave the matter unattended. We sometimes send out demand and warning letters in the name of our firm, and at the request of our clients, we sometimes prepare demand letters in English to be prepared in the client’s name. By informing the debtor that he/she has a lawyer in Japan, we put pressure on the debtor and encourage voluntary payment. If voluntary payment is not received from the debtor, we will request the debtor to issue a demand letter in cooperation with a local attorney and demand that payment be made. In many cases, the debtor is unlikely to ignore the formal demand letter from the attorney and is likely to accept full lump-sum payment, installment payment, or settlement.

Sample Warning Letter

I am a Japanese lawyer representing Kazuo Tanaka, our client. Our client asked us to contact to your company with regard to the disbursement of the fee at USD10,000 which has been paid to your company on December 30, 2019. According to our client, ………….

If you need more detail, please contact us so. We will send you additional information. Should you have any questions, please contact us at any time by e-mail. We very much appreciate your earliest response.