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

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Old February 16th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #16
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 118
The best that can be gained from all this is that 1. Don't spend the money earned from a yet to be complete project. 2. Demand more precise details and deadlines when taking on a project. That $1000 probably sounded like easy money at first but it may be the most aggravating money you ever earn. Like it was stated earlier there should have been a set time frame, no exceptions, the $1000 could be a deposit to keep you for 30 days, 3 months, whatever, but it needed to be set. 3. Never feel guilty about doing business even if it means a loss to the other party. I've done projects for rather wealthy clients and they can make it feel like you're putting them in the poorhouse having to give you a meager sum to do a project. That's how some people act to get ahead in business. Communicate with your client.
He signed a contract. You'd be happy to do the project for him. Don't lie about the deposit not being there anymore. Tell him you took it on the grounds that you would do work for him and that since the deposit was made you had business expenses as you were on this "open-ended retainer".

If I remember Kell, you had some doubts about this client from earlier threads correct?
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Old February 16th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #17
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,841
Here's my simple farthing on the issue.

As long as Kell is willing to follow through when the client is ready she's upholding her end of the contract.

Client signed KNOWING it was non refundable.

Client signed KNOWING there was no specified deadline.

Kell should only pay back the money if Kell decides to back out.

It's none of the client's business how you manage your business's funds but you would be responsible for returning the money if you back out.

There's nothing wrong with a contract in which dates aren't specified if BOTH parties agree to that IMHO. I've done it. I've had clients who simply aren't sure when elements will be ready. This does NOT mean I drop everything when they are ready. Open ended works both ways. If either the client or the facilities WANTS dates they can specify in the contract.

Contracts are TWO WAY and if both parties agree to the terms without coercion and there's nothing illegal about the transaction then it generally should be a good/valid contract.

Basically if Kell remains committed to the job and to the open ended nature and the client has agreed to it, they shouldn't get their money back. They need to deliver the elements at some point. The "risk" involved is that if it's years later then the costs involved may change. That's a very different (but related) kettle of fish.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #18
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,211
I am not a lawyer. I never wanted to be a lawyer. I still don't want to be a lawyer.

On the other hand, I've had a lot of exposure to contracts - as a juror in contract dispute cases, as a marketing guy selling contract consulting services, as a project manager executing consulting contracts etc etc etc.

There are lots of good basic books on contracts, and it might be worthwhile reading one.

As I recall (pure lay person's recollection) it takes three things to form a contract - an offer, an acceptance, and a consideration, which can, but doesn't have to be, monetary. It can be, for example, an action taken by a party to the contract, or the forbearance of an action (ie one or both of the parties agree not to do something they might otherwise have done.)

It sounds simple, and in principle, it is. The devil, as always, is in the details.

In this case, it would seem that there was a monetery consideration as well as an offer and an acceptance, so to this non-lawyer, it would seem that there is at least a reasonable basis for believeing that the contract is valid.

Considering that the cost of litigation would probably be far more than the $$$ involved, it seems unlikely that anyone would go to court over it - unless it were small claims court.

But having said all that, if it were me, I'd be inclined to refund the money if I were asked to do so since nothing has actually been done on the project and you haven't turned away any paying work because of the contract.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 03:57 AM   #19
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
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Obviously you need a lawyer, but is there enough money at stake for it? $1,000 won't go very far in attorney's fees.
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