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Questions and Professional Answers

Questions and Professional Answers

  • Contract termination and billing

    I sent my landscaper a letter on March 27, 2007, letting him know that we are no longer using his services. His work had been shoddy and he was charging me more than the agreed upon contract cost of work. I sent him a check for the agreed upon contract cost, along with a letter reminding him of the agreed cost, and let him know that his services are no longer needed, effective immediately. Today I got a bill for services he claims he rendered in April. He must have gotten the letter, because the check, which was in the envelope with the termination letter, was cashed on March 30th. Therefore, I feel I am not responsible for any bills for services after the date he cashed my check. Also I feel I am not responsible for any additional payment that is more than the contracted cost. Am I correct?
    • Re: Contract termination and billing

      Given that he cashed the check March 30, you have a solid defense to his claims for April services. As to the amounts you say he chared above the contract price, that depends on the details of how those additional costs were handled previously. Did you ever discuss the additional costs with him? And if so, what was discussed?How long has he billed you for the additional costs, and when (if ever) did you pay him for those costs? (Again, were they ever discussed?)If there was never any discussion about the added costs, and you never paid for any of the added cost, you probably are well within your rights to handle it the way you did and to continyue refusing to pay based on the original agreement.Although unlikely, pay attention if e threatens to file a "mechanics lien" or a "lis pendens" action against your house. Whether or not either of these would ultimately be successful would not prevent him from filing them, and his doing so would cloud your title and irritate your mortgage lender, who could insist that you pay him to clear the title, or who could pay the landscaper themselves to get rid of the filing then pass the cost along to you.Let me know if you need help.

      Craig J. Tiedemann
      Tiedemann Law Firm (TLF)
      92 State Street, Ste 700
      Boston, MA 02109
  • Fired attorney, still performing and charging for services

    I fired my attorney in writing in January after he failed to draft a modification for child support on a settlement reached. The draft was promised in November 01. On the day he received my registered letter he charged for for ''cleaning'' up my file, and then proceeded to draft and send the modification to my ex's attorney without my authorization. He then sent me a bill charging me for these services and others, including a substitution of attorney, that he charged me 250.00 to ''complete''. I was already aware of the need for the form, but had not yet decided on a new attorney, if any, since we already had a settlement. He sent this long after he had performed all of the services. Am I liable for the post-termination services performed. I understand that I may end up in arbitration in order to avoid his lawsuit for unpaid fees, but do not want to even try if I am going to lose. Isn't my letter of termination sufficient to end his services, and the substitution of attorney used for notification to the court and opposing attorney?
    • Re: Fired attorney, still performing and charging for services

      A substitution of attorney form is required before the attorney is relieved of responsibility on your case. Any work done which is necessary to the contract for representation would be properly billed. $250 for preparing a substitution of attorney seems excessive though. "Cleaning up your file" seems unusual, he should be keeping your file "clean" throughout the representation, unless there is something that you or I don't know about, that seems improprer. Hopefully, you will have this resolved through arbitration. Good Luck, Pat McCrary

      Patrick McCrary
      Law Office Of Patrick L. Mccrary
      9340 Fuerte Drive, Suite 203
      La Mesa, CA 91941-4164
    • Re: Fired attorney, still performing and charging for services

      you are not responsible for that bill. Dont pay it. He is a thief and you did right by firing him

      Ken Koury
      Kenneth P. Koury, Esq.
      22425 Ventura Blvd., #286
      Woodland Hills, CA 91364
  • Contractor termination of services

    Do I need a response from a letter sent to terminate my contractors services?
    • Re: Contractor termination of services

      If you are a contractor and under contract with an owner or another contractor to perform a contract or subcontract, you probably can't just walk away from your obligations by sending a letter "terminating" your services.I'm not sure exactly what's going on here, but is sounds as though you have taken on a job you'd like to pull out of. Keep in mind that your contract obliges you - and the client - to do certain things at certain times (such as build the patio, or pay the bill). Just writing a letter does not cut off your obligations under the contract unless the other party is in default and the default gives you the right to terminate the contract.Merely giving notice of an intention to withdraw from a contract can be, but seldom is, enough to take a party off the hook for damages that flow from the non-performance.

      Bryan Whipple
      Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
      P O Box 318
      Tomales, CA 94971-0318
  • Signed letter of Termination

    I received a letter stating that the plant I work for was closing and my layoff date will occur between May 9 and May 23, 2008, but they extended it to July 28 thru Aug 8. The the letter of termination was changed and signed off by the Corporate office. I since then had a new baby and been on maternity leave and they are telling me that they do not want me to come back to work and that my release date from my maternity would be my last day of work. Since i have a dated & signed off letter of termination can they still change termination date? Can they let me go right after my maternity leave? I Need to stay working until the doors close. Is this legal? Or is my letter binding?
    • Re: Signed letter of Termination

      It depends. If they are treating you differently because of your pregnancy, then it may be unlawful discrimination. However, if your position has already been eliminated (i.e. no one is currently doing your job), then they can try to argue that they have a legitimate non-discriminatory business reason for terminating you after your disability leave. You ought to get in contact with an employment attorney to read and review the company's policies as well as the termination letter.

      Fred Shahrooz Scampato
      Law Office of Fred Shahrooz Scampato
      445 East Broad Street, 2nd Fl
      Westfield, NJ 07081
  • Termination from Services

    I have terminated from my services with immediate effect. I had read in the newspaper few days back that as per the Indian law, the firm has to pay six months salary to the employee in case of termination. Am I right?
    • Re: Termination from Services

      Are you a regular or on contract basis tell in detail

      SHIVA SHANKAR REDDY
      M/S S&S LAW FIRM
      D.NO:12-1-439/1,LALAPET
      Secunderabad, NUS 500017
    • Re: Termination from Services

      That may depend upon terms of your employment. You may want to examine your documents for appropriate reply.

      Sudershan Goel
      Attorney-at-Law (India)/International Visiting Scholar
      Sureme Court of India/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Usa / New Delhi, NEW DELHI 110001
  • Job termination

    I am recently terminated from my company on the basis of my performance, but i hadnt get any warning letter moreover i got termination letter by psot wef 26th Dec on 15th Jan, is my termination is valid and have i any rights to claim my pay till 15th Jan
    • Re: Job termination

      You may make a representation raising demand for your unpaid salary, if any.

      Sudershan Goel
      Attorney-at-Law (India)/International Visiting Scholar
      Sureme Court of India/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Usa / New Delhi, NEW DELHI 110001
  • Termination of Employment Contracts

    If an employer had given an five year employment contract to an employee and the only clause contained in the contract for termination is a ''For Cause'' list, in California can the contract be terminated by the employer after the second year without cause and the employee only receiving a termination letter?Also if the termination letter asks that the employee sign the letter and there is a paragraph in the letter that says that by signing the letter the employee agrees to release the employer from all obligations and that the employee will not sue the employee, is the employer allowed to do this under California law?
    • Re: Termination of Employment Contracts

      It is legal to do that only if the employee is stupid enough to sign it.

      Ken Koury
      Kenneth P. Koury, Esq.
      22425 Ventura Blvd., #286
      Woodland Hills, CA 91364
  • Job termination and LawSuit in India

    Hi,My Job from an IT company was terminated around 3 months back. I have sent a legal notice to the firm saying that the reasons shown in the termination letter are not valid. Now the firm replied that there are other reasons too which are not included in the termination notice. Isn't it company's responsibility to include all reasons for my terminaion in the termination letter? Shall I go for Lawsuit?
    • Re: Job termination and LawSuit in India

      You may consider filing a law suit depending upon the amount involved. The litigation may be very costly and time consuming; and the results will still remain uncertain. Consider bearing the loss or compromising with the employer, if possible.

      Sudershan Goel
      Attorney-at-Law (India)/International Visiting Scholar
      Sureme Court of India/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Usa / New Delhi, NEW DELHI 110001
    • Re: Job termination and LawSuit in India

      You may consider filing a law suit depending upon the amount involved. The litigation may be very costly and time consuming; and the results will still remain uncertain. Consider bearing the loss or compromising with the employer, if possible.

      Sudershan Goel
      Attorney-at-Law (India)/International Visiting Scholar
      Sureme Court of India/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Usa / New Delhi, NEW DELHI 110001
    • Re: Job termination and LawSuit in India

      You may consider filing a law suit depending upon the amount involved. The litigation may be very costly and time consuming; and the results will still remain uncertain. Consider bearing the loss or compromising with the employer, if possible.

      Sudershan Goel
      Attorney-at-Law (India)/International Visiting Scholar
      Sureme Court of India/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Usa / New Delhi, NEW DELHI 110001
    • Re: Job termination and LawSuit in India

      You may consider filing a law suit depending upon the amount involved. The litigation may be very costly and time consuming; and the results will still remain uncertain. Consider bearing the loss or compromising with the employer, if possible.

      Sudershan Goel
      Attorney-at-Law (India)/International Visiting Scholar
      Sureme Court of India/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Usa / New Delhi, NEW DELHI 110001
  • verbal warnings, written warnings and termination

    I received a verbal warning by the program director (who was yelling at the top of her lungs) of a human services organization due to 2 client's services exceeding the individualized budget. I was told that I could have time to resolved the issues and I did. During the time I was trying to clean up this mess (which was about 3 weeks) I received a 3rd and final warning/termination. What is Maryland employment law pertaining to the proper procedures for termination, did I have to the right to receive a written warning before termination?
    • Re: verbal warnings, written warnings and termination

      Unless you have a written employment agreement or there is an employee manual applicable to you that contains provisions regarding your rights in this area, the employer has the right to terminate you at any time without notice, and for virtually any reason (other than a civil rights violation).

      Robert Sher
      Wagshal and Sher
      4824 Edgemoor Lane
      Bethesda, MD 20814
  • Termination of Employment

    Former Employer is asking for a signed termination letter before releasing last paycheck. Is this legal in Kansas?Company had no Employee Handbook at the time of termination.
    • Re: Termination of Employment

      It is very likely illegal. There is a state law that demands payment of a final check and it does not allow this kind of requirement.

      Michael Shultz
      Law Firm of Michael M. Shultz, P.A.
      7270 West 98th Terrrace, Suite 220
      Overland Park, KS 66212