Thank you for your follow-up. I will go down line-by-line to ensure I do not miss anything.
So can he sue for defamation of character? Do they do that in small claims court?
While he can pursue a defamation claim, that is very hard claim to prevail under. It is also usually not permitted in small claims but must instead be done at circuit or district court level.
Also, what does "materially breached the contract" mean? I know you explained it, but in this case, there was nothing for me to perform.
My apologies, I got confused with the parties--I thought you were the person who ended up not doing the work.
There are typically two types of breach, a "material" breach, or a "minor" breach. A "material" breach is where the breach is so serious that is completely destroys the contract and the obligations of parties. A "minor" breach, on the other hand, while still a possible violation under the contract, still permits the contract to go forward (for example if a person requests 10 platters at a party and only 8 are provided, while it a breach, it is not deemed a complete killer of the agreement).
And in this particular case, what do you mean by "denied me the ability to attempt to remedy the contract and complete the work"? We fired him and didn't want his work because of his lies, false advertisements and not doing anything that he said he did (like paying other vendors).
As stated above I got confused with the identity--my extreme apologies. However what I stated does work as his defense. his best claim here is that by firing him too early, you took away his ability to actually complete the agreement. That, however, is a weak counter-argument if you requested assurances (proof), that he was actually performing the first place. By not paying 3rd parties, you have enough evidence to claim breach and attempt to cancel the contract.
Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 2/4/2011 at 1:03 AM EST