Re: Withheld payments?

Subject: Re: Withheld payments?
From: Nora von Gerichten <wlg -at- pacificcoast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2002 07:50:03 -0800


I am not sure about each state, or etc, I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice, only sharing an experience. Also, I am in Canada. This is common practice however, with lawyers wanting their legal bills throughout the US and the British Commonwealth. I found it such a simple solution, and questioned many of the US lawyers I work with on a day to day basis. As with everything, there are specifics. In my case the lawyer recommended this as the client a) paid a retainer indicating intent to execute the assignment; b) bounced the cheque, indicating intent to pay; and c) stated on numerous occasions to the bank and to me, that funds would be in the account on a specific day. This guy was just not going to pay.

Perhaps the operative idea is that I am very clear in my mind that a small claims ruling would be in my favour. This course of action cannot be entered into without 100% believing you are 100% right. I log my hours in 10 minute increments with tasks. I will not pick up my pen to begin unless I get a retainer. My documentation was in order. Any legal matter requires your documentation to prove you right.

In this case, the cheque was for $22,000. Small Claims Court maximum is $20,000. I took a gamble and won. Going to court is a gamble, too: perhaps even more so.


At 05:07 PM 2/3/02 -0800, you wrote:

That kind of stuff is probably different in each state in the US. I don't
know if you can do this where I live in California. The libel laws would
probably prohibit it. Also, any company with deep pockets could drown you in
paper and sue you for defamation. Whether the
defamation is true or not doesn't matter if they've got a stable of lawyers
and you've got just yourself. I've had some troubles collecting from
clients in the past, but nothing (so far) that's required anything other
than being very assertive.

Always good to have a contract in place, though, that explicitly spells out
the terms of payment and terms of work...

steve arrants

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