Mark Holmes, our Business Contract Attorney based in Newport Beach but serving all of Orange County, California reminded us that we are entering in to contracts all the time: our work orders, invoices and proposal are all contracts and if we want to get paid we need to make sure that they are protecting our interests with the proper legal language.
He reminded us that without ironclad contract small claims would be our next line of defense and that there was a $7500 limit on claims there. A majority of small claims court cases involve collection, apparently, so avoiding it is desirable if possible because a judgement in small claims court does NOT mean that you will collect on that money owed you.
Mark also discussed Arbitration and said that 99% of suits are actually resolved before they go to resolution. Mark talked about a alternative dispute resolution clauses saying that they had the benefit of being private and relatively simple where as a written contract can result in a judgement or forced reason for the other party to comply. It may give you the right to file a lien against their property in order to collect on your judgement.
Obviously Business Contracts and Contract Law are complex topics. What a perfect reason to get the expert help of an attorney like Mark D. Holmes.