When I think of Jack Daniels, I think of getting drunk and saying outrageous things. I think of being sad and drowning my sorrows. I think of getting loaded and losing bar fights.
I don’t think of diffusing tense situations with reason and civility.
I’m going to guess that the lawyers for Jack Daniels who wrote this cease and desist letter didn’t have any of their client’s product before sending it out. It’s way too nice. In fact, it’s probably the nicest cease and desist that anybody has ever seen….
Jack Daniels got into a little trademark dispute with an author over the cover of his book. Look at the picture below and you’ll see the nature of the dispute:
Yeah, okay, that’s probably not the best choice for a book cover unless you have a license from Jack Daniels.
One might expect the cease and desist letter from Jack Daniels to be furious. But instead of bluster, JD’s lawyers calmly explain the problem:
If you think that’s a nice way of putting it, take a look at this eminently reasonable proposed solution:
Well, you know what they say: you get more flies with Tennessee whiskey than you do with adversarial attorneys.
I think the reason why this is going around the internet today (Esquire has reprinted the full cease and desist) is that most people are shocked to see lawyers behave so reasonably.
But I think there are lots of lawyers who understand that adversarial attorneys don’t have to be a$$holes.
I’m still caught up on the juxtaposition of this letter with the product itself. Can you imagine a C&D written on Jack Daniels instead of for Jack Daniels:
“Dear Sir, we’ve seen your Book. Your cover. And, WTF man? That’s OUR LOGO. We’ll fight you for it. You wanna GO outside RIGHT NOW? NO? Okay then. Good. I’m not trying to be an asshole. We’ve put a lot of work into that logo and [voice cracking] nobody respects it, man. RESPECT. That’s all we’re looking for [crying now] we don’t want to hurt anybody. We just have to defend ourselves cause NOBODY ELSE WILL HELP US. You understand, right? [Cheering up] Come over here, brother. Come ON, we’re cool, right? Yeah brother, you know the WORDS. I wanna hear some funky dixie land, pretty mamma come take me by the hand. By the hand HEY, take me by the hand MOTHERF***ER, come and dance with your daddy all night long.”
Yeah baby, all lawyers should think about Jack Daniels (and the company’s lawyers) before writing a cease and desist letter.