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    Breach of Contract with Arbitration Clause

    Jurisdiction / State: Tennessee

    Hi,

    First off, I have not found any other site with as much great advice as this one. So, thank you! I apologize in advance for the length. A LLC and I both signed their Independent Contractor Agreement and NDA on October 26, 2011. It stated that the contract expired on a 60-day written notice. A few other highlights in the contract are:

    1. Contractor shall provide written content for corporate website, and all written content needed by Company. *No other specifications such as dates, timeframes, etc.

    2. (a)The Company agrees to pay the Contractor a sum of $2,000 as a retainer upon signing of this agreement. (b)Company will pay the Contractor an additional monthly retainer of $2,000 on the first day of each month until termination of this contract.

    3. Either party may terminate this contract in writing in the following instancesa)Non-payment to the Contractor by the Company as agreed upon in this contract, and failure to remedy within 30 days from the date the payment is due.

    4. The parties agree that any dispute which may arise from this agreement will be referred to an impartial and lawful arbitration body whose decision will be binding upon both parties.

    To sum it up, I have received only one check for $1,000, and that was considered half of the retainer. I asked about the payments, and was presented with a new contract. It was the exact same terms, except, with different payment agreements. I did not sign it, but was asked to continue work. They now owe me a balance of $7,000. That is not including fees incurred, which I was told through email, "would be taken care of." Likewise, pursuing this has cost me time, other jobs, financial strain, and the threat of my livelihood now.

    Approximately 3 weeks ago, I sent an email to all the partners and project manager with: (1) parts of the contract that were breached, along with a reason (2) a detailed timeline including exchanges of instructions, updates, emails, etc., starting from day one (3) a list of all work I have provided, and (4) the outstanding balance, with how late each payment is individually. I ended the email saying I would like to resolve this immediately. Also, upon doing so, I would gladly turn in the remaining work so they could launch their new sites. Since sending, I am being ignored by the entire company. The worst of it is, their sites are only accessible by their members, that I suddenly cannot access. So, I have no clue if they're using my content right now or not.

    What should I do from here? Again, I'm sorry for this being so long. I just wanted to be sure you had all the details. Thank you so much in advance!

  2. #2
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    You're pretty much out of luck.

    You're a contractor, so the state wage agency won't help you.

    You aren't owed enough money to hire a lawyer to sue these deadbeats.

    Your only remedy is small claims.

    That's usually a frustrating, disappointing, frustrating experience.

    If you prevail, you only get a piece of aper saying "X" owes "Y" $5,000.

    Try collecting your money, useless!!

    Besides, filing a small claims case costs you more money.

    It seems unlikely they'll sue you.

    It is more unlikely they'll pay you.

    Face it friend, they've screwed you, and dd it without foreplay or lubrication!!!

    Next time, don't agree to a contract with an unknown (to you) entity.
    U C a physician 4 your medical issues. U should C a lawyer 4 your legal issues!

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    rcjames (01-12-2012)

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    Thank you for the reply. That is what I feared. Cost are nearing $10,000 at this point, and honestly, it is more about morals than money. I am also a disabled Veteran, and contacted their legal aid this morning. They told me if I would like to pursue this matter, they would assist. I am not sure what all that would consist of, but I may look into it further.

    This company is more worried about reputation than anything, which is why is truly surprised me they would do this. Am I allowed to make others aware this company may not pay? They have "celebrity" members, all of which I interviewed, and have the only copies of audio files. I have honored the NDA and ICA in keeping this a "surprise," but legally, do I have to turn them in to company if they do not pay?

    One last thing. Recently one of their partners was let go from the company. It is none of my business by any means, but this particular person is the one I sent work to early on. They still have it, and never passed it on to the project manager for this particular job. I did my own digging, and found out this one partner was involved in an alledged international scam of sorts. Now I understand why I was told not to associate that persons name with anything having to do with this company, or while speaking to any of their "celebrity spokespeople."

    I was told throughout my entire military career that I have to learn things the hard way, or I don't learn it at all. I guess I can add this to the list lol. Thank you again for being straightforward.

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    I would avoid bad mouthing anyone.

    You never gain a thing by doing that.

    And, sometimes, it will get you sued.

    But, even if it didn't get you sued, it wouldn't get you paid!

    So, why bother?

    Never engage in any endeavor that does not benefit you directly.

    That benefit can be money or satisfaction.

    You gain nothing from ratting someone out, nothing, but more trouble!

    Finally, I always try to do the right thing.

    If I were you, I'd give them my work anyway.

    Never stoop to the level of others.

    The work doesn't benefit you, does it?

    So, give it to them.

    My dad, God rest his soul, gave me great advice.

    He was never wrong about anything, and never lied to me.

    Dad said, you do the right thin, because its the right thing.

    You don't do it because you expect to gain, you do right because you should.

    You had a bargain with them.

    They have failed to honor that bargain.

    You should uphold the bargain.

    You should give them the work anyway.

    Who knows, they just might pay you after you give them their crap?

    But, if they don't, you'll always own them.

    They sold their honor to you for a lousy five or ten grand.

    My honor has no price.

    I'll bet yours doesn't either.

    Don't give it away so cheaply, don't give it away at all!!!!

    Give them your work, and be the bigger, better person.

    Let them live with their choices, and you'll better be able to live with yours!
    U C a physician 4 your medical issues. U should C a lawyer 4 your legal issues!

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    rcjames (01-19-2012)

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    Now that I have cooled off a little, I completely agree with you. You reminded me of a few things I had forgotten about myself. I actually read your reply, and then waited a few days. I sent a final email to this company, stating some of the things we've discussed here. In short, I told them if they could live with it, I could live without it. I also said that I was reminded that I should do the right thing, even if they are not, and my word was all I had, and without that, I have nothing.

    Surprisingly, I received an email the next day from the CEO of the company. It said they were pleased with my work, and asked if they paid up, would I send the remainder. Now, whether they actually do this or not, only time will tell. Still, I was pleased to even get this reply since I've been ignored.

    Thank you for being blunt and honest with me, and reminding me of a few things. It is definitely appreciated.

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    That's good news, RC.

    I think you'll get your $$$$$ soon.

    Always try to settle or negotiate a compromise.

    Good luck.
    U C a physician 4 your medical issues. U should C a lawyer 4 your legal issues!

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    rcjames (01-19-2012)

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