SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 214
  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Verbal Contracts - legally binding?

    Hi there, I'm a college student in NY (I'm sure some state's laws are different) and my professor offered $15,000 for someone to create over a marketing campaign/business identity for his department during a class one week ago.

    He said he wanted a website, domain, tag line, and marketing proposal and be compensated for $15,000. He also said he needed this by the next day.

    With that said, my friend and I needed the money and didnt have classes the next day so we stayed up all night and worked on it (6pm-8am-14 hours straight).

    When we went to present it to him the next day, he said he loved the work and it was better then he anticipated (it was pretty ingenius if I do say so myself haha) but when he brought up compensation he briefly dismissed his $15,000 offer saying that he was just trying to motivate his students to do this and he was thinking something in terms of not taking an exam or extra credit in the class. My partner and I just looked at each other but we didnt say anything at that meeting because we were not sure how to approach this issue.

    A few things to note:

    This was said in a class of around 40 people, so we will definitely have enough witnesses to say that he did in fact say $15,000.

    Just before offering $15,000, he stated that the school received an endowment of over $1,000,000 for this project and that he was going to up the grand prize from $1,000 to $50,000 (it is a entrepreneurship contest) so $15,000 for a full business identity completed by the following day (started after normal business hours - 6pm) did not seem unreasonable because he also said he was under pressure from his superiors to get this thing going.

    After class, we talked with him for 30-45 minutes discussing what exactly he wanted and when he wanted it by. He had ample time to clarify the compensation package, but he didnt.


    With that said, what are my legal options? I've already talked to one of my management professors and he thinks that we would be able to successfully sue and win.

    Any (knowledgeable) input would be appreciated.

    -Chris

  2. #2
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Denver, Phang-Nga, Thailand
    Posts
    4,379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am not a lawyer but I know that verbal agreements can be binding in many cases. In your case, it sounds like it may in fact be a binding agreement! Find an attorney who specializes in contracts if they feel you havea a case, have him write a letter for you.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+

  3. #3
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Verbal contract is as good as written - as long as you can prove it, and in your case looks like you can. I would definitely pursue it. You have a case, let him know that if you don't get paid you'll take legal action. Try to make a deal outside the court to avoid effort and expenses. It's in his interest too. Congratulations!
    Oh yeah, he'll probably give you an F, but for 15k who cares

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thats good news and what I was thinking too.

    I can drop the course for 'extenuating circumstances'

    -Chris

  5. #5
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And if it goes to court, I am guessing you can add court expenses to the bill, so definitely it's not in his interest to go to court. Have a talk with him to make sure he's aware of this. If it doesn't help, go to a lawyer and have him send a letter. Should cost something like $100 or so, add it to the bill

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Right behind you, watching, always watching.
    Posts
    5,431
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hate to burst your bubble but in many situations verbal contracts are hearsay evidence and the judge can dismiss it as such. Only reason I say this is that I've had no less than 10 cases thrown out for this exact reason!

    It sucks but without it in writing it's all "he said, she said" and the whole case os up to whatever judge it comes in front of ... and some of them can be a MOTHER!

    If I had a dollar for everytime I heard "Do you have that in writing?" I could take tomorrow off!

  7. #7
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Now that I'm thinking about it, it's too early for a lawyer. Before you go to a lawyer send him an invoice, by registered mail, and give him enough time to reply. Since you'll need some sort of evidence that he didn't pay

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    hearsay does not apply when you have a class full of 40 people hear exactly what he said. Please read the thread.

    -Chris

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by demosfen
    Now that I'm thinking about it, it's too early for a lawyer. Before you go to a lawyer send him an invoice, by registered mail, and give him enough time to reply. Since you'll need some sort of evidence that he didn't pay
    even though he already said he wasnt (planning) on paying the 15,000?

  10. #10
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, I think it's better to get everything in writing from now on

  11. #11
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah you don't have to have a written contract in NY, here is what I found in the state law -


    1. An agreement, promise, undertaking or contract, which is valid in
    other respects and is otherwise enforceable, is not void for lack of a
    note, memorandum or other writing and is enforceable by way of action or
    defense provided that such agreement, promise, undertaking or contract
    is a qualified financial contract as defined in paragraph two of this
    subdivision and (a) there is, as provided in paragraph three of this
    subdivision, sufficient evidence to indicate that a contract has been
    made, or (b) the parties thereto, by means of a prior or subsequent
    written contract, have agreed to be bound by the terms of such qualified
    financial contract from the time they reach agreement (by telephone, by
    exchange of electronic messages, or otherwise) on those terms.
    2. For purposes of this subdivision, a "qualified financial contract"
    means an agreement as to which each party thereto is other than a
    natural person and which is:
    (a) for the purchase and sale of foreign exchange, foreign currency,
    bullion, coin or precious metals on a forward, spot, next-day value or
    other basis;
    (b) a contract (other than a contract for the purchase and sale of a
    commodity for future delivery on, or subject to the rules of, a contract

    market or board of trade) for the purchase, sale or transfer of any commodity or any similar good, article, service, right, or interest which is presently or in the future becomes the subject of dealing in the forward contract trade, or any product or byproduct thereof, with a maturity date more than two days after the date the contract is entered into; (c) for the purchase and sale of currency, or interbank deposits denominated in United States dollars; (d) for a currency option, currency swap or cross-currency rate swap; (e) for a commodity swap or a commodity option (other than an option contract traded on, or subject to the rules of a contract market or board of trade); (f) for a rate swap, basis swap, forward rate transaction, or an interest rate option; (g) for a security-index swap or option or a security (or securities) price swap or option; (h) an agreement which involves any other similar transaction relating to a price or index (including, without limitation, any transaction or agreement involving any combination of the foregoing, any cap, floor, collar or similar transaction with respect to a rate, commodity price, commodity index, security (or securities) price, security-index or other price index); (i) for the assignment, sale, trade, participation or exchange of indebtedness or claims relating thereto arising in the course of the claimant's business or profession (including but not limited to commercial and/or bank loans, choses in action arising under or in connection with loan agreements and private notes, and including forward sales), but only to the extent that such indebtedness or obligation was not incurred by a natural person primarily for personal, family or household purposes; or (j) an option with respect to any of the foregoing.
    3. There is sufficient evidence that a contract has been made if:
    (a) There is evidence of electronic communication (including, without limitation, the recording of a telephone call or the tangible written text produced by computer retrieval), admissible in evidence under the laws of this state, sufficient to indicate that in such communication a contract was made between the parties;
    (b) A confirmation in writing sufficient to indicate that a contract has been made between the parties and sufficient against the sender is received by the party against whom enforcement is sought no later than the fifth business day after such contract is made (or such other period of time as the parties may agree in writing) and the sender does not receive, on or before the third business day after such receipt (or such other period of time as the parties may agree in writing), written objection to a material term of the confirmation; for purposes of this subparagraph, a confirmation or an objection thereto is received at the time there has been actual receipt by an individual responsible for the transaction or, if earlier, at the time there has been constructive receipt which is the time actual receipt by such an individual would have occurred if the receiving party, as an organization, has exercised reasonable diligence; and a "business day" for the purposes of this subparagraph is a day on which both parties are open and transacting business of the kind involved in that qualified financial contract which is the subject of the confirmation;
    (c) The party against whom enforcement is sought admits in its pleading, testimony or otherwise in court that a contract was made; or

    (d) There is a note, memorandum or other writing sufficient to indicate that a contract has been made, signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by its authorized agent or broker. For purposes of this paragraph evidence of an electronic communication indicating the making therein of a contract or a confirmation, admission, note, memorandum or writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states one or more material terms agreed upon, so long as such evidence provides a reasonable basis for concluding that a contract was made.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Right behind you, watching, always watching.
    Posts
    5,431
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CLKeenan
    hearsay does not apply when you have a class full of 40 people hear exactly what he said. Please read the thread.

    -Chris
    Thank you I DID READ THE THREAD........ It can STILL be considered heresay!

    I'd be DAMNED interested how many college kids would show up in a court of law, stare their instructor in the face and testifiy against them! You'd be suprised how many of them will have amnesia!

    But then again you seem to have made up your mind already so I'll shut up and chock this up to the school of hard knocks .... like I said before, I've been through this more times than I care to admit and after 48 years on this planet I have learned the hard way NOTHING is "for sure" ........ good luck!

  13. #13
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So, if I read 3-b right, you need to send him an invoice and he has to receive it within 5 days after the contract was made (after the class that is), and if he doesn't object it in writing within 3 days, he admits the debt.
    I hope it's been less than 5 days. And make sure it's sent registered mail so you have his signiture

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dc dalton
    Thank you I DID READ THE THREAD........ It can STILL be considered heresay!
    definition of hearsay:

    Information given to a witness by another person. The witness did not see the information first hand. The witness does not have personal knowledge of the original event.
    Evidence based on what the witness has heard someone else say, rather than what he/she has personally experienced.
    40 people hearing the words come out of his mouth is definitely not hearsay. Or am I wrong? Are you saying that 40 people hearing him offer 15,000 for the completion of the project would not be hearsay?



    demosfen - is it 5 business day? Or is it 5 actual days? Because we originally were offered the project on Thursday and 5 days forward would be Monday. Seeing as how its Saturday night and it wont arrive on Monday, what can we do?

    -Chris

  15. #15
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's business days, so you're ok. Saturday and Sunday don't count

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ok were good then, I'll make sure it goes out first thing Sunday.

    -Chris

  17. #17
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Denver, Phang-Nga, Thailand
    Posts
    4,379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmm.. this is why I thought it would be good to consult a lawyer

    So much amateur law being practiced on Sitepoint, it's amazing!

    DC_Dalton : You are correct about 'nothing is for sure', and it only took me 38 years to realize it. I have lost a case in arbitration against a client who had literally no basis for not paying me! They just had a sleazier attorney than I did. Sad, but true. Nothing is for sure!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Right behind you, watching, always watching.
    Posts
    5,431
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    DC_Dalton : You are correct about 'nothing is for sure', and it only took me 38 years to realize it. I have lost a case in arbitration against a client who had literally no basis for not paying me! They just had a sleazier attorney than I did. Sad, but true. Nothing is for sure!
    well I think ( no offense intended to ANYONE ) .... some of these kids need to take a few classes at the school of hard knocks! Not that they are wrong in their convictions because they aren't .. I was much the same way at that age but MAN OH MAN reality has a nasty way of changing your perspective! It's amazing how age makes you understand how sometimes the RIGHT thing isn't always the legal thing!

  19. #19
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is time and place for consulting a lawyer, but if you are going to go to one for every little thing, eventually you'll have to consult one about filing a bankrupcy. Consulting the law on the other hand is free except for your time and the price of your internet connection. I have to shake my head when somebody posts a question here on SP and 10 people will give the same 'find an attorney' advice.
    Don't mistaken lawyers for magicians, they know the law but it's your responsibility to know and use your rights. If he's going to take time looking for a lawyer now, 5 days will pass and no lawyer will be able to help

  20. #20
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Denver, Phang-Nga, Thailand
    Posts
    4,379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not sure I agree. I refer VERYTHING I'm not sure about to my attorney. Everything. I don't have time to research the law, and even if I did I wouldn't think that I know enough for it to be worthwhile.

    Anyways, I am not consulting anyone about bankruptcy. There is low-cost law advice to be had just about everywhere. Most cities have a law school or other organizations that provide inexpensive consul to small biz.

    So, I would offer that legal advice is just like tax advice : get a professional, and avoid anyone who says otherwise!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+

  21. #21
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's like any outsourcing, if you can do it cheaper 'in-house', why not do it. If you can't, hire a lawyer. Let me give you an example.
    My daughter isn't fully vaccinated and I needed to get her into pre-k with missing vaccines. It appears it only takes a signed letter from a parent - took me maybe 4 hours to research it - find appropriate law and decypher it. I read (on another forum I think) someone else's story who was in the same situation and hired a lawyer. It cost him $4500. Don't get me wrong, it IS a ***** to read these laws, I don't know why they can't write them in normal English, and I am not a native speaker so it probably takes me even longer. But for that kind of money I'll do it! I just don't have time to work for lawyers - it takes me [censored - don't want IRS to know] weeks of full time work to make $4500. I am already working 60-70 hours a week, where would I find time to make money for lawyers?
    It may be extreme case and there are times when you need a lawyer, but I can't think of a job that would bring so much money that you could justify hiring a lawyer for everything. I'll hire a lawyer when I go to court and there is a lot of money involved, or when the law is so complicated I can't make sense out of it

  22. #22
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Denver, Phang-Nga, Thailand
    Posts
    4,379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, there are always examples to prove anything. So, I think that the vaccination story is not really representative of the ordinary role of lawyers in business.

    I look at it like this (real example) - say I win a $10,000 consulting gig.

    My attorney does a pass on my ordinary contract to make sure it is valid in the state where my client's business is. That's $150.

    Later, we realize that we have an outstanding IP issue, and quickly move to get an negotiatated ownership scheme on paper. This cost about $500 and took about 3 hours. My client and I agreed to split the 500 buckd 50/50, and out of the project budget.

    This kind of deal is typical of how I use my lawyer.

    I bring him short things like, 'can you make this contract work with a client in Canada' or 'can you protect me from someone elses HIPAA non-compliance.'.

    In a year, I'd say I spend around $5,000 in payroll services, bookeepiong, tax preparation, and financial advisory services.

    I'll also spend about $5000 in legal - just little things like I described.

    If I were to guess the amount of hours it would have taken me to handle the legal and tax work on my own (just for conversation) I would say that it would have taken about 40 hours - not to mention the risk of me doing wrong.

    That 40 hours is a whole week for me to grow my business, and not spend my time learning law. It's time I can be increasing my value, and not worrying about law because it's all taken care of.

    Nowadays, Im extending the model - I spend too much time as an amateur marketer! I wish I could pay someone $5000/hr to write my ad copy , make letter heads, run ads, do seo...

    Oh ma gawd! Someboddy stop me I caint stop OUTSOURCINNGNGNG!!!


    Quick - I'l give someone 5 dollars to finish this post!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+

  23. #23
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    This is not a legal advice ---------->
    Posts
    623
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well if you make lots of $$, it's ok. I don't make nearly $100 an hour, so I'd spend these 40 hours to save myself $5k. If I could handle it that is

  24. #24
    Non-Member Gator99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    613
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you really expected $15,000 for an overnight project, perhaps you should check out some of the free services offered in the pyscology department. A lecturer offering something to the class does not constitute a verbal contract. For starters it's missing the acceptance on your part, other than showing up the next day with work, at which time he did not agree to the original terms. Lesson learned, before you go off half-baked, get a deposit and a legal agreement.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Right behind you, watching, always watching.
    Posts
    5,431
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gator99
    If you really expected $15,000 for an overnight project, perhaps you should check out some of the free services offered in the pyscology department. A lecturer offering something to the class does not constitute a verbal contract. For starters it's missing the acceptance on your part, other than showing up the next day with work, at which time he did not agree to the original terms. Lesson learned, before you go off half-baked, get a deposit and a legal agreement.
    Well said sir, well said.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •