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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 10333
Experience:  30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
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I run a software development company, LLC registered in Maryland.

Customer Question

I run a software development company, LLC registered in Maryland. I have unpaid invoices $9000 total to a company based in New York. The project is done, I have all the contracts, email chains, working product. The problem was that the team that worked with me when we started is no longer with the company, and COO that i'm dealing with now doesn't want to pay, he was suggesting $3000, I was asking for at least $6000 to settle this. I applied for small claims court, which first time they asked for another sessions (were not ready), the next time I had to cancel the claim because as we found out I can't sue them in small claims court because my business is not New York based. I dealt with the lawyer who was representing their company. What's ironic, the guy actually agrees that the company owns me but he has to represent their company anyways, he said that I could take this to the higher level court but I'd need to pay for a lawyer, but what I could do is to pay a bit upfront and then percentage from the money (say 1/3) if the case wins.

What's you advice in the current situation? New Yorker advice would be most helpful. Should I go to the court, what would be the best way to find a lawyer then. Or should I say it's a business loss.

Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.

bizlaw :

You can bring a small claims court in NY if that is where the defendant resides, regardless of where you live. What the clerk may have told you is that your $9,000 exceeds the small claims limit. You have the option of reducing your claim to $5,000 and staying in small claims court. If you have to give a third to an attorney, with expenses you will end up at about the same amount. If you settle the case with a lawyer who gets 1/3 at say $7K you will be worse off. Unless the lawyer is going to take it to trial and not settle you will be better off doing it yourself in small claims court. If you can get the attorney to agree to prosecute for the full $9K go with the attorney.

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Customer :

I was going to the small claims for $5000, i know they have the limit.

Customer :

The reason I can't do in small claims - because I dealt with the company as a company, not an individual

Customer :

So it does matters. If i was signing a contract as an individual or my company was registered in New York, it would work

bizlaw :

Then you will best served if you can get a collection attorney who would take it on a contingency. If your contract gave you the right to collect attorneys fees if you have to enforce your rights, you would not be so restricted. Another option is to see if you can file suit in MD, that will impose an additional cost on the company and give you leverage in getting a better settlement.

If this answer is responsive to your question, please accept it. That is how we are compensated. I would also be appreciated if you provided feed back on your view of the answer. Finally, if the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus. If I can be of further assistance or you have other questions in the future you can ask for me and reach me at this site.

This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.

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