[thelist] Contract Advice

Bob Haroche bharoche at usa.net
Thu Jan 11 18:09:32 CST 2001

> What should I do now?

Send him a polite but firm letter outlining your position, reiterating the
sequence of events including his prior statement that a good faith estimate
of your time would substitute for formal time sheets.  You might want to
even "cc: Joe Smith, Esq" on the letter to let him you're prepared to take
stronger measures to collect what's owed you.

The fact that you had an oral contract doesn't mean you didn't have a
contract at all.  Sounds like the *terms* of your contract aren't in
dispute, only whether you met a particular requirement on your end...namely
producing time sheets.

While technically you may have failed to meet that requirement, it sounds
like he waived or excused that requirement -- meaning you should still be
able to recover "on the contract."

If he wants to play hard ball on the issue, in most US states you can still
recover "off the contract" for the $ value of your services rendered
measured by the prevailing market rate for your skill and experience level.
In that case, you theoretically might be able to recover even more than the
low hourly wage you agreed to in your oral contract.

To sum up:  start with your letter.  If no meaningful response from the guy,
see a lawyer to review the matter with, then have the lawyer write a formal
"demand letter".  If still no movement from the guy, file a small claims

Good luck.

O n P o i n t  S o l u t i o n s
P.O. Box 694
Occidental, Ca  95465

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