Eric Deters The Lawyer For Sarah Jones: You Can Accept Pain Now Or Greater Pain Later

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Mr. Deters,

While couched as a “settlement demand”, your letter threatened Nik with “great pain” unless he paid you $1 million.  This demand is absolutely shocking.  You also made an implied threat to expose embarrassing information about Nik unless you were paid.

At best, your conduct was severely unprofessional and at worst, it was almost certainly criminal.  In Flatley v. Mauro, 39 Cal.4th 299, 139 P.3d 2, 46 Cal.Rptr.3d 606 (2006), the California Supreme Court found that virtually identical conduct by an out-of-state lawyer directed at a California victim constituted “extortion as a matter of law“.  The lawyer at issue in that case was sued civilly for his conduct and he was also suspended from the practice of law for one year (the lawyer never requested readmission and has since given up the practice of law).  As you know, Nik is a resident of California and as such, if your threat violated California law which I strongly believe it did, you would be exposed to liability in California.

Nik posted your letter with my express permission.  He did this in order to draw public attention and scrutiny to your actions, as he has an absolute right to do.  If you feel shame or embarrassment as a result, then the appropriate remedy is not to seek groundless sanctions from the court.  Rather, you should realize that making childish, unprofessional, and unlawful threats is improper and unethical, and you should control your actions accordingly.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  As for your “settlement” offer (and without in any acknowledging that the letter was a legitimate settlement offer as opposed to an unlawful threat), it is respectfully rejected.

David S. Gingras, Esq.

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