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Can I be sued by someone if there was a verbal agreement in place?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I own a start up magazine. I had a guy that agreed to help me by writing articles and editing. The verbal agreement was that he would get paid when the magazine began to bring in revenue. He decided to leave and now is asking me to pay him $500. As a friend I told him "we have a verbal agreement and by you asking for payment when the magazine has not brought in any money is breaching our verbal agreement made." All of this conversation through Facebook messages.

My question is if he tries to sue me for $500 does he have grounds to do so since there was a verbal agreement in place?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If he sues your for the $500 in small claims court, you would both tell the judge your versions of your agreement and show the judge the facebook exchanges. The judge would then decide whether or not you owed him the money.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


  2. The answer is that verbal agreements are enforceable. If the individual can show that your business is profitable, then he may prevail. You will have to bring in evidence to show that you have not yet shown a profit. Asking for the money is, in my opinion, not a breach of the contract. Even if it was, it does not void the contract, as you he still produced the work. One more piece of advice- as a business you should have all of your agreements reduced to a written contract to protect yourself.


  3. I agree with the other attorneys, verbal agreements are enforceable. If the company hasn't made any revenue you are not obligated to pay. That being said, the amount is only $500, the question you need to ask yourself is; will it cost you more than $500 in time, effort, & expenses to not pay him and possibly be taken to small claims court regardless of whether you win or lose?

    I would recommend that you hire a business attorney to assist with all of your corporate documents; contracts, vendor agreements, employment agreements, company formation documents (you need more than the state of Florida sunbiz.org document). We have a great program for small business. If you would like to find out more, please call my office.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Florida Attorney practicing in areas of Estate Planning, Elder Law, Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, and Business Law. www.ferraezlucas.com The information provided is for educational purposes and not intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney client relationship. Please contact me at adam@yourlawpro.com or call my office should you like to discuss your Florida legal matter further. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


  4. As you have facebook conversations of said agreement, it could actually be considered a written agreement. This article found on my website may be useful to you:

    http://www.239lawyer.com/2012/05/emails-binding-contracts-naples-lawyer/

    That said, it may be more expensive and time consuming for you to take this to small claims than to let it go.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and should not be considered legal advice. You should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion unless you are already a client of Padly & Associates P.A., pursuant to a written and signed agreement. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice.

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