Amount paid, per a signed agreement, $20,000 to update a business plan for a commercial real estate development. I had a small claims court judgement issued against the company, but no money refunded. The consultant started another company and continues to do business.
What are my options to get the money refunded?
Employment / Labor Attorney
If you have a judgment against a company that is not collectible, you can try to have it collected from the new company that is run by the same consultant. If the consultant is the "alter ego" of both companies, he may be personally liable.
An "alter ego" means that there is no real legal difference between him and his company. This is often the case in a small company, with 1 or 2 employees. This would depend on whether he and the company file separate tax returns, whether he pays for his personal expenses with company funds, whether he takes payments that are made out to him personally, etc.
You should see a collections attorney in your area. the amount of money in dispute may make it tough to handle as a contingent fee case. But the contract may allow the prevailing party to get attorneys' fees from the losing party.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
It appears there are at least two inquiries in this question. For both, you need to consult with a competent collection or commercial attorney. If you have a small claims judgment that would mean the initial claim was worth less than $5,000? You need to get an execution and docket it and then do discovery on assets of the company to try and collect. As for the $20,000 is that a separate claim? That would be a circuit court matter for which you would need an attorney.
The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. Bstein@dcfsz.com, 305 377 1505