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    Post: deadbeat family member

    Posted by Steven on 4/28/06

    Dear All:

    I am working at a law firm, but occasionally do some
    moonlighting (minor legal work for friends, family). This
    is ok with my firm.

    I try not to work with family, but last year my wife's
    cousin (a young kid) asked me to write a consulting
    agreement that he would use for someone he was working
    with, sort of a consultant to procure business for his
    webdesign company. I usually charge around $220/hr
    (sometimes more, sometimes less), but promised him $150/hr,
    and we signed a contract to that effect. I drafted a very
    professional agreement (6 pages) for him, but he and the
    other party didn't like it (too long, too complicated), and
    asked me to modify it. I did so, and went back and forth a
    bunch of times to accomodate them. I was asked to delete
    various sections (non compete clauses etc), and I
    reluctantly did so, but advised him of various issues with
    regards to working with consultants.
    In all, I spent over 10 hours on this matter. I finally
    billed him (months after providing the service, because I
    wanted to give the kid a chance to make money), and from a
    total of $2400, I billed him $1300, which I thought was a
    bargain for 10 hours of work.
    Last month he sent me a nasty email stating that he does
    not want to pay because he didnt use the complicated
    contract, and that he didnt get what he asked for, because
    he wanted a 2 page contract. I explained to him that in
    order to protect his interest I had to make it longer and
    cover all the bases, but he didnt agree, stating that he
    has a right to have crap if he asks for crap.

    I'm thinking I'll never get my time's worth, which is fine,
    after all it was a lesson for me not work with family
    (deadbeats!). But I'd like to close this, and hold my head
    high, so I wanted to solicit someone's views: do I ask for
    all the money? do I make him understand I'll sue him if he
    doesnt pay me? What else would you do?

    Posts on this thread, including this one
  • deadbeat family member, 4/28/06, by Steven.
  • Re: deadbeat family member, 5/01/06, by Carol.

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