How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask FiveStarLaw Your Own Question

FiveStarLaw
FiveStarLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36471
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
FiveStarLaw is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A client has asked me to return money he paid to have a product

Resolved Question:

A client has asked me to return money he paid to have a product developed. The product is complete and has been working at his site. He still owes the last payment on the product.

Just before asking for his money back, he asked me for all the design files and manufacturing data that I provided in good faith.

The merits or demerits of the case may not be relevant. I did some background research on the person and he is an evil character. Essentially he is trying to get money out of me by threatening me. By talking to his employees I learnt that he does the same thing to all his suppliers.

His reason for asking for a payment is that the product failed a test conducted last December.

I don't think his case has any merit. But the thing is if he has a lawyer who will take his case on a contingency basis it may end up causing a lot of expense and hassle for me.

He is in Florida and I am in Maryland.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  FiveStarLaw replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Thank you for your question.

Consider filing suit against him first in Maryland. Absent a provision in your contract to the contrary, jurisdiction would lie in either Florida or Maryland. Therefore if you file suit to collect the money that is owed to you in Maryland the best that he can do is countersue for the return of the other funds in Maryland.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your quick answer. I have a few follow up questions.

Would filing a suit involve a lot of money? Like many small businesses in this economy I exist on the edge of survival and have enough things to do.

He has paid about $85k and owes about $17K. It was a longish contract 2+ years and it took a lot of effort to get it done. We went out of our way to do things for him. The money he paid is long since gone on expenses and materials for the job.

We have strong written evidence saying that the product performs as expected. Do you think we would be able to find an attorney who will accept the case on a contingency fee? The attorney can keep all of $17K recovered.

Alternatively do you think I can file suit myself with minimum guidance from a lawyer just to make sure that I am doing the right thing?

My friends suggested ignore the guy. See if he actually files suit and then respond. They think it is just a ploy by him to avoid making the last payment.

Do you think it is best to file first? If we file in Maryland can he file a counter suit in Florida. The contract does not specify the state where any disputes will be resolved.

The best case outcome would be if I never see this guy again or hear from him. On the other hand I do not want to pay this guy anything. It is like being bullied in the school yard.

Is there a way to make these people aware that I

- intend to fight their malicious intentions hard
- really don't have much money
?

Once again thanks for your time. This is the first time in nearly 10 years of being in business that I have encountered this situation.
Expert:  FiveStarLaw replied 4 years ago.
The purpose of filing suit first is to force him into the court in Maryland. He will need to include his counterclaim in the Maryland action.This will give you the hometown advantage of not having travel to Florida to litigate.if you ignore him and he chooses to file suit in Florida, you will need to defend the action in Florida at a much greater cost. I would not suggest that you file the action yourself. It may be worth your while to spend a few thousand dollars to bring the action in Maryland rather than risk losing $85,000.
FiveStarLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36471
Experience: 25 years of experience helping people like you.
FiveStarLaw and 8 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DC/DCraneEsq/2012-8-14_14436_DCrane.64x64.jpg MShore Law's Avatar

    MShore Law

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1233
    Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1162
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1142
    Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ohioatty/2009-1-22_185545_me.jpg J.Hazelbaker's Avatar

    J.Hazelbaker

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg RGMacEsq's Avatar

    RGMacEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    301
    13 years practicing attorney, MBA