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Ely, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 102504
Experience:  Counselor at Law.
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We would like to cancel a trade show. The only documents we

Customer Question

We would like to cancel a trade show. The only documents we have are a simple unsigned invoice from the trade show organization that has no terms regarding it being binding or no right to cancel, etc. It is not signed by us or them. There is no email exchange
binding us either. Can we cancel or does the unsigned invoice require us to pay and attend?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts to opt out of participation in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.1) Are there emails that have you stating that you agree to attend the trade show?2) Has money been exchanged/paid for this between the parties?3) You mean they sent an invoice ahead of the trade show?4) What exactly is your interest in the show (or was)? As a participant, an entertainment group, etc?This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1) No emails
2) We haven't paid anything yet but we would agree to pay for whatever labor costs they have incurred for us.
3) Yes, the invoice is the only document.
4) ParticipantThanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The show is next week
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.Well, technically, a verbal contract is binding... but also impossible to prove really because the onus is on the party suing to show the existence of it by a preponderance of the evidence, which is 51% or over. (This is why written contracts are so important - they allow good proof of the agreement existing.)Unless they can show that an agreement was reached, then it is a he said/she said scenario. All that they can prove is that there was a conversation, and then they sent an invoice.One hypothetically can send a certified letter back stating something akin to "Hey, I do not know what this invoice is, but there was no contract and I not bound for any contractual performance. This invoice is void, and I consider this matter closed. I am not coming to the trade show - we never agreed I would."Unless they can prove otherwise, they cannot claim breach of contract.Now of course this is dangerous - (1) they may have some proof you do not know of, and (2) they may be bold enough to try to sue for breach of contract anyhow and take their chances. But, unlikely.I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
HOWEVER, they can try to sue under a doctrine that states that they reasonably believed that you would be coming even if there was no specific contract in place. This is related to a common law doctrines of quantum meruit and related doctrines of quasi-contract and unjust enrichment. But again, they would have to prove that they REASONABLY RELIED on your affirmation to come. And even then, they can only recoup what reasonable labor they did in anticipation of this.So there is a risk.Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.