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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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My engineering consulting firm ( I do about one million per

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My engineering consulting firm ( I do about one million per year with ExxonMobil) has 2 outstanding invoices totaling $97,548 since July of this year. These invoices have been
approved for payment, but no funds received from accounting folks. Numerous
e-mails have been sent with no response. Should I take legal action at this time.
************

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I am sorry to hear about this situation. What state is this in, please?

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 9 months ago.
My firm is registered in Georgia. Work was done in Singapore for affiliate of ExxonMobli Dallas Texas
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Do we need a phone call?
Thank you.
Someone in your situation would certainty have a cause of action, sure.
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
Jurisdiction falls under GA or TX. So say it is TX where the action would take place. This means causes of action for:
BREACH OF CONTRACT
The essential elements of a breach of contract cause of action that must be prover are:
(1) There is a valid contract;
(2) The plaintiff performed or tendered performance according to the terms of the contract;
(3) The defendant breached the contract; and
(4) The plaintiff sustained damages as a result of the breach.
Valero Marketing & Supply v. Kalama International, 51 S.W.3d 345, 351 (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] 2001, no pet.).
QUANTUM MERUIT
(1) The claimant furnished either valuable services or materials or both;
(2) The services and/or materials were furnished to the party sought to be charged;
(3) The services and/or materials were accepted by the party sought to be charged,
(4) The services and/or materials were furnished and accepted under such circumstances that the party accepting the services and/or materials was reasonably notified that the plaintiff, in performing, expected to be paid by the party who accepted the services and/or materials.
Heldenfels Brothers v. City of Corpus Christi, 832 S.W.2d 39, 41 (Tex.1992).
The issue becomes not whether this can be done (it can), but it it should be done. By suing, someone in your situation will likely lose a customer forever. And a good one at that.
For Exxon, this sum is nothing. Very likely, this really is simply red tape. Emails tend to be ignored - this is very unofficial. What I find works most times is a certified letter threatening to SUE, emailed to the proper parties AND their in house legal counsel. THAT will get their attention and likely get this resolve ASAP. May be a better way to handle the matter than simply filing suit immediately.
Using counsel to send the letter likely would carry best results.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please 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 experts get credit for our time. 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 with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Much thanks, ***** ***** e-mail a letter. I really do not want to sue.
No, not email. Certified mail - that is the whole point! That will get their attention.
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.
Thank you for your question.
Here is a summary for your information:
1) Emails are not effective in threatening.
2) Regardless, you do not wish to lose a good customer.
3) As such, while there is a chance for a lawsuit, one may wish to send a certified letter demanding payment. This should get their attention, and at the same time not "cross the line" and have them be bitter enough to possibly stop business.
NOTE that you are part of a group of customers who can request a free call from an expert as part of a promotion. If you'd like that, you can request it - let me know.
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