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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5928
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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This might be alittle ... but I will do my Best to Recap

Customer Question

Hello, This might be alittle long... but I will do my Best to Recap this scenerio. I helped a friend expand his business to my state over 2 1/2 yrs.ago. At that time, I choose not to have any contract in place. We worked in Good faith and I/ We were hoping the business would take off and I would be compenstated down the road. I have put in long hours and also my own money. We recently Won a few contracts and all the time and effort is now (hopfuly going to Pay off) All was going well until a few months ago. He is having Mental health and addiction issues. We provide s services and have Contracts in schools etc. I have No emplyees and no liabilty insurance ( he let it lapse). I am the Face and contact person, and feel horrible if I / we do not fulfill our agreements. I tried to resign last week but there is noone to take over. My friend is saying he will go to a Treatment facility but is threatening me to stay on since he feels like I Owe him. He accusing me of lying and writing checks behind his back. He said he will sue me. Yes...I have signed his name to various pieces of paperwork since we are in 2 different states ( paid employees, paid a few businnes expensed back to mysel, varies contracts as a Director of the co. as well.( I have all documention) ). He is also going through family issues and is planning on blaming me if the business fails here...and no money comes in. I need to know what he can legally accuse me of since it is his company and I have No formal contract. I know I could technically walk away but what are the legal ramifications to both parties?? Thank you . J
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I am in AZ. He is in GA
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: The co. has one but I am not sure if he can stay neutral.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I am hoping my friend and I can work things out but incase we can't.. I want to make sure my reputation is not tarnished in my community. He is verbally absusive right now and I just need to know what legal advice is out there in case he pushes to hard.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Welcome! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back.

Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

1. In the cases where you signed his name, did he agree to let you do that?

2. If not, then did you tell him about it after it happened and if so what was his response?

3. How much time passed since he found out and the first time he complained?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
1. Yes but after a maybe 6 mo. or so, I just signed .. as I needed to, sometimes I told him sometimes not. It was Never a Big deal.
2. See No. 1
3. I few weeks ago..He was OFF the grid to speak. I had a 1,250.00 check Fed Exed to me from a client so I could pay a employees and reimbursment to me and my family. Turns out he wanted that check for himself to spend since he is broke. On 8/8 16 When I told him i got check sent to me, deposited into the Business acct. to pay a GA. employee and reimbursments here in AZ.. he went Ballastic.Now... I asked for several meetings/conversations so i could let him know what I was doing c. He chose to NOT want to talk about business. I was trying to take care of the employees etc. based on there contracts etc. and knowing if he got hold of check it would be gone and used for personal use. ( on a side note.. he recently withdraw 483.00 out AZ account ( plus left me a neg.- 188.00 in AZ bus. acct..) and he personally picked up a clinet check for 1316.70 which I never saw and his wife cashed a 2439.36 check that was accidently sent to GA vs. AZ. All money that was earned in AZ and should be used for AZ business .) I am pretty sure I will NEVER see that money. He threatended to sue me if I did not give him the 1,250.00 back and I had no right to sign his name and pay people. I took out of my 1250.00 personal account, so I would not deal to deal with it. So basically I paid GA people. I gave him the check book back last week
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

It sounds like to me the concept of ratification applies here and also laches and equitable estoppel.

1. Ratification is the act by a principal [him], after the agent [you] has acted, confirming that what the agent may have done without authority, is binding on the principal.

2. Laches is the unreasonable delay in making an assertion or claim, such as asserting a right, claiming a privilege, or making an application for redress, which may result in refusal.

3. Equitable estoppel is concept where that serves as a bar to a party from asserting a legal claim or defense that is contrary or inconsistent with his or her prior action of conduct.

It further appears to me that the two of you had a partnership even though there was no written contract governing the partnership and in which case the courts may apply a 50-50 approach to loses and profits. Finally, you may be able to argue that the money he took that you may have had a right to he owes you back under the concept of civil conversion.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Morning, Sorry for the delay in sending this. I appreciate the information. Based on the information I shared.... Can you give me a better undersanding re: Numbers 1, 2 and 3 on how they pertain/ protect/ benefit me (the agent) and /or him ( the principal)? Explain in Layman terms please. Thank you. J
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

As you said, it was never a big deal. These concepts are ways to show that it was never a big deal because in the past when you signed his name he did care and did complain, or he has waited too long to complain, and/or it does make sense for him pt flip-flop now since in the past he never complained.

If you want to understand more and feel that you may benefit from a phone call, I have sent an offer for you to accept for $21.00 more. If you decide to accept, please come back here and enter you phone number and let me know that you have done so the system will alert me to respond. Please know that JA's site disclaimers apply to all levels of service.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi. I read your latest comments .I am wondering the following: 1. in paragraph 1 did you mean to say he did NOT care and did NOT complain?? 2. Clarify the last part of the sentence in Paragragh 1, It starts as: and/or it does make sense etc...Thank you. J
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

1. Yes, sorry, I meant to say that he DID NOT care and DID NOT complain...

2. The last sentence should read:

"and/or it does not make sense for him to flip-flop on these issues all of a sudden and now since in the past he never complained."

Sorry, I am horrible when it comes to typing....

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Good morning...I understand that "Typing" may not be your strong point, but when it comes to Legal issues/ advice... atttention to "detailed words" in my opinion would be EXTREMELY important in the Legal world. I appreciate the information but was disappointed that, I had to catch these errors. J
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

I understand and appreciate what you are saying. Thank you for not giving me a negative rating.