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

Asked over 2 years ago - 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. Marshall C Deason Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  2. Adam Troy Rauman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  3. Robert L Mauro

    Contributor Level 12

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  4. Stephanie Danae Padly

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . 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...

    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... more

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