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1099 independent contractor A ex client of mine just sent me a threatening email. And cc'd his attorney.

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a 1099 independent contractor. Recently I terminated my services for a client. He is upset that the new company I'm working for allegedly could be calling his customer list ( I have already got opinions from several attorneys on this site that seem to agreed that his customer list is most likely not going to be considered a trade secret) the question here is about this email I got from him and how to protect myself against harassment. The email he sent me contained 2 threats and maybe even black mail. "We need to talk about how you are going to make this right financially or you will not like the consequences ." "You can try and hide but it won’t work for long."

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Depending upon the severity of the threats, you may want to have your own attorney respond and point out the potential consequences of those threats, or after consulting with your attorney you may want to file a police report. You may not want to post any more details of this matter on a public site.


  2. You should retain your own attorney. The opinion of an attorney who has not thoroughly reviewed the facts and any independent contractor or confidentiality agreement you may have signed is not worth much.

    A retained attorney can advise you, and respond if appropriate, to the email you received. IMO, the quoted language, standing alone, does not rise to a culpable threat or blackmail.

    Individuals frequently send letters or an email which purport to have also been sent to their attorney. In my experience, this lessens the possibility of follow through.

    The attorney-client privilege has also been destroyed with respect to the content of the communication: obviously this is not something an attorney would advise a client to do and usually means the individual has not consulted the attorney but merely added the attorney as a scare tactic. Good luck.

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  3. I agree with my colleagues: It is time for you to retain a lawyer.

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.