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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Urgent legal question

    So I started a position that was to be part time, not contract but on the books. Which was new for me but the first bit was to be contract for the "probation period".

    I did my job, got told I was doing a good job, had a fellow developer that looked over my code in house to double check to see if things were built as they should have been. Got the okay.

    I got offered a job closer to home. This job I was at had been a month and I hadn't been taken off probation nor had the owner out together my contract as I had asked him and reminded him several times.

    I let him know I would not be coming back. I was offered a position elsewhere and needed to take it as it was best for me at this time. Convenience, money, work load, etx. He wasn't happy. But accepted it. I billed him for my time spent the last 2 weeks prior and he replied 3 days later asking me why I was invoicing? That my work was sub par, and costing him $ to redevelop my project.

    I explained exactly what I just told you all. That it had been looked over, was good, ran by him and the other developer and things were good to go. He denies it? Claims it wasn't and decided I should reduce my invoice. So I did. Few hundred dollars.

    He then informs me that my actions cost his small business 250k? In late / lost clients (it has been 2 weeks, this was last night). That he is going to be taking legal action?

    My question is:

    Is this even possible!? Lol

    1: no contract...
    2: confirmed my work was well done on more than one occasion
    3: I offered when I told him I wouldn't be coming back that if he needed me to freelance a bit until he can replace me, I would be more than happy to do so.

    What do you think about this?
    What should I do?

    Is he just blowing smoke? Trying to get me to withdrawal the invoice that is now 2 weeks unpaid past the date he was to pay?

    Any info would be good.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Mikl's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've got three possible courses of action:

    1. Try to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the guy, where you can sit down and discuss the issues, and try to find a solution that suitable for both of you; OR

    2. Offer to cancel your invoice, but only on the basis of a "full and final settlement". In other words, if he accepts the cancellation, he has no further claim against you; OR

    3. If you really think he's going to sue you, talk to a lawyer straight away.

    From what you've said, he has got no case against you. It's likely that he is using the threat or legal action as a way of getting out of paying your bill. If that's right, one or other of the above remedies should sort it.

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Basically, I revised my invoice he asked me to do (because apparently 24 hours in 3 days a week... 9-5 doesn't include lunches... so i suppose it wasn't quite the 24 hours a week i was promised) I had to remove my paid lunches from that invoice, and the previous invoice that had been paid, the lunches he asked me to re-emburse him for. Not much, doesn't really matter too much.

    I replied with my invoice, and let him know it was revised.

    I'm going to consult a lawyer. I am not cancelling my invoice. I did the work, I'm not in the wrong here. I asked for a contract 10 times and got "yes, later today we can do that" and he had yet to take the time to do up the contract with me. Leaving without 2 weeks notice but offering to freelance to help out until they hire a 2nd front-end guy (they have one in house already, they also outsource to other contractors) is fair enough.

    We'll see how it plays out I suppose. Seems like he's just trying to get me to cancel my invoice.

  4. #4
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    Well, I hope it works out for you - and that you will use the experience to learn lessons for next time.

    I think you'll agree that the mistake you made was not making it clear in advance what you would be charging for, and on what terms you would do the work. You say you asked for a contract ten times. That was a mistake. It was up to you to take the initiative on the contract. You should have written a clear letter to the client, setting out your terms for doing the work, and asking him to confirm his acceptance in writing. That exchange of letters would then have been a legally-enforceable contract.

    The majority of the legal problems we see in this forum are ultimately caused by a lack of communication between contractor and client regarding the terms and conditions of the work. They would be so easy to avoid if only the contractor would deal with the contractual issues before starting work.

    You may find the following article of interests:

    Freelance contracts: A cautionary tale

    Freelance contracts: Covering the essentials

    Mike
    Last edited by Mikl; May 11, 2014 at 03:32. Reason: Added a couple of links

  5. #5
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    That sucks mate! I hate it when ppl take advantage of developers. It makes it hard for honest guys to get talent on board.

    I would not let him get away with it, call his bluff. Otherwise he will do it to someone else. Unless you signed a doc saying you would be liable for client loss etc, I think you will be ok.

    Note - I am not a solicitor!
    Get a little bit extra out of life with www.stakemyrep.com
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