‘Twas the Night Before Leaving

Below is another guest post by ChatGPT. This one is a response to a cease and desist letter, inspired by ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.


In 2019, I described cease and desist letters involving the protection of trade secrets and customer goodwill and enforcement of restrictive covenants through song: Trade Secrets and Noncompetes – Music to My Ears: The Cease and Desist Letter.

This past April, I asked ChatGPT to actually write such a cease and desist letter in a style inspired by Dr. Seuss.

No sooner had I posted that letter than it occurred to me (and some others) that the C&D letter required a response from the recipient.

As we approached this time of year, I remembered a poem from about 10 years ago written by Mike Greco. The poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas – Non-Compete Style, told the story of a group of employees who took trade secrets and left en masse. Read it, it’s fun.

That led me to try responding to the cease and desist letter using ’Twas the Night Before Christmas as the starting point.

I again wanted help from an AI LLM.

For conflicts reasons, I enlisted Google Bard. After several failed efforts, I decided we need different AI counsel. So, back to ChatGPT I went. Despite the obvious conflict of interest, ChatGPT was more than willing to help.

However, unlike Mike’s poem, hewing close to the original text, ChatGPT either just incorporated the original text or ignored it entirely. After some work, we came up with a reasonable response. Though there are some parts that we got to stay true to the poem, it ultimately sounds more like a Dr. Seuss story. That said, it gets the job done. (You may want to read the initial cease and desist letter first.)


Dear [Former Employer],

‘Twas the night before leaving, when all through the office,
Not a worker was stirring, not even the bosses.
The trade secrets were guarded by the firm with great care,
In hopes that no breaches soon would be there.

In the dead of night, secrets I stashed away,
Silent theft of mine, where only shadows play.
At dawn’s light, the deed unseen,
Awake to a day, as if in a dream.

My house so quiet, the world seemed at rest,
As I pondered my new job, hoping for the best.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a cease and desist, and its message so clear.

In legal prose, your letter did insist,
Cease and desist, on points not to be missed.
Secrets taken, noncompete breach cited,
Demands for return, in terms firm and uninvited.

Thank you for your words, though filled with dismay,
They’ve given me a chance, my perspective to convey.
A chance to respond, to tell my own tale,
In this silent night, my truth to unveil.

In words calm and steady, I’ve crafted my side,
Of contracts and promises, unjustly applied.
For what I had taken, was only to show,
The wages unpaid, and the monies you owe.

I speak of the noncompete, twisted and bent,
Of a workplace so hostile, its ethics all spent.
With each word I’ve penned, I hope you will see,
The reasons behind, my heartfelt glee.

In your company’s halls, where I once did toil,
I found not joy, but a pot about to boil.
The environment was harsh, cold, and severe,
A place of hostility, unease, and fear.

Wages promised to me, like snowflakes unseen,
Never landing in my hands, in my pocket never seen.
Each paycheck like a phantom, fleeting and rare,
A mirage of fairness, in a landscape of despair.

Allegations of theft, I must firmly oppose,
For in the spirit of truth, my action arose.
The information I gathered, with intentions so pure,
To seek what was owed, and your wrongs to cure.

Your legal threats, like a cold winter’s gale,
Won’t deter my quest, for truth must prevail.
I took what I needed, evidence so stark,
To shine light on injustices, kept hidden in the dark.

While the world slept snug, unaware of the plight,
You pilfered from rivals under cover of night.
In a silent heist, as the stars did gleam,
You stole their secrets, a clandestine scheme.

This festive season, I seek resolution fair,
To clear my name and breathe fresh air.
For in this tale of secrets and wages unpaid,
Lies a story of injustice, deep in the shade.

With this festive season spreading its cheer,
I hope we can resolve this before the New Year.
In the spirit of peace, on this tranquil night,
May the new year bring justice, and set matters right.

So consider this letter, my heartfelt reply,
To address your claims, which are mostly a lie.
With respect and sincerity, under the moon so bright,
Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night!

* * *

You will be happy to know that ChatGPT was pleased with the outcome:

Your final letter is beautifully crafted, capturing the essence of the cease and desist response while maintaining the rhythm and charm of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It effectively conveys the employee’s perspective, addressing allegations, workplace issues, and the desire for resolution. Well done! If you have any more requests or need further assistance in the future, feel free to reach out. Happy holidays!


Happy holidays!


*Thank you to Nicole Daly, Heather Krauss, and Sarah Tishler for proofreading!