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Hired to build website, client appointed secretary to work with me, worked with her, he backed out after website built.

Austin, TX |

Hi Avvo Lawyers,

I was hired to design a website for a businessman. We agreed to a fee, he informed me that his secretary would be working with me-- feedback, content, and to make sure the website "got done right". This conversation would be the last I would have with him up until we had problems.

I presented his secretary with mockups, she liked the one and had me develop it further. She also stated via email "when will the website be complete?". The development of the website was 4 weeks. Upon sending a fully coded website, I received a response that the businessman hated the website and was going to hire someone else.

I sent him an invoice and he mailed me a letter saying he owes me nothing because he didn't approve of anything. Is blame on the secretary? Am I entitled to payment?

I have emails to support that 1) the businessman appointed the secretary to work with me 2) all communication with secretary was done via email

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Attorney answers 2


You likely have a claim for the reasonable value of the hours you spent on the website if you wish to pursue this.

From a business standpoint, I would highly highly recommend working with an attorney from now on to develop contract(s) for you that will handle these issues up front. Business attorneys are designed to create contracts that both parties understand and to lay out deals clearly. Obviously some are better than others, so look around for someone you like.

Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC


A perfect example of why you need an attorney to develop a contract for your business. You need to hire an attorney who can send demand letter for payment. One way or the other, an attorney should be able to help you get paid for this project.

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