What can I do if I had a contract signed for 4 months with a client and they broke it and are not paying me the final payments that are due?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I had a contract signed for 4 months with a client and they broke it and are not paying me the final payments that are due?

They keep demanding a media list of mine, which in PR is not standard practice to share with our clients. In addition, they also said they would cover my registration, travel and hotel expenses for a tradeshow I attended on their behalf, and they’re refusing that payment as well. Plus, we never signed anything stating I would provide them with the lists, which I’ve reminded him. He keeps saying his investors are refusing payment until they receive the media lists, and I told him I’d be happy to send the lists once I receive payment. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on December 2, 2015 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them for the money: a written contract is binding on both parties, and if you have honored your obligations under the contract, they must honor theirs--i.e. they must pay. They cannot add additional terms, conditions, or requirements to the contract: that is, they cannot, for example, demend a media list as a precondition to payment, if that was not in the signed contract. It does not matter if his investors want the list before paying: his investors' wishes do not alter or override the contract. You may sue for all amounts, payment, or reimbursement due to you under the terms of the contract.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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