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?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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