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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old June 15th, 2004, 05:46 PM   #16
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: England
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I'm a law student as it happens so here it goes, bearing in mind of course that I am studying UK law and that I'm giving you this advice off the top of my head without any research at all ;-)

Whether or not the e-mail is admissable as evidence of a contract depends largely on the evidential rules of your country's courts, and as such, is largely a procedural question. Of more interest is whether or not the communications contained in the e-mails amount to a contract. In order to establish a contract you need an offer and acceptance with valuable consideration. In other words was there an agreement that you have provided work in support of?

Let's assume that there is. Your erstwhile client is far more likely to concede the fact there was a contract and accuse you of breach/frustration in failing to meet the terms - which may or may not be implied based on statutory requirements, your e-mail correspondance and the general customs of your particular profession. Anyway, the point is that you should consult a lawyer about this, as you may end up having yourselves to argue that there was no contract in order not to be in breach of it.

Good luck with it anyhow,
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Old June 16th, 2004, 01:55 AM   #17
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Andalucia, Spain
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Thanks for your post!
One of the problems is that there are three countries involved: Spain (where I live and where the work was done), Germany (the country of the photographer) and Austria (the country of the photographers' agent). Since most of the correspondence, and especially that which in our view constitutes a "contract", has been with the photographer, we have contacted a lawyer in Germany and we are preparing to send him all relevant information now. His initial fee for studying the material and writing a first letter to the client is 400, which is not too bad. A simple lawsuit would cost us a further 1000, which if we win, will be claimable from the other party. If we lose however, we have to pay his costs, plus those of the court.
It's easy to see why many companies and free lancers will not go to court for a few thousand dollars.

To be continued...
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