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Left at the Altar


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#21 JBaymore

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:00 AM

The more we as PROFESSIONAL artists let people treat us like some sort of sub-class of business people that matter not, the more people will continue to treat us as some sort of general resource to take advantage of as they might when it is convenient for them.

Unfortunately we as a group tend to be our own worst enemies in this regard. If we don't take this stuff as seriously as our doctors, building contractors, car mechanics, and so on, we should not expect the general public to treat us with respect.

This order might not amount to a huge amount of money when compared to many commercial endeavors, but I am sure it is significant to the potter within their life.

To steal the phrase....... "Art is Work".

The thing to do is to offer them a fair deal and make it clear that if you have to take the time and trouble of going to court they will end up paying you three times what they owe in court costs, paper serving, leins, lost time, etc.


Bingo!

best,

......................john
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#22 trina

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:24 AM

I am still willing to make the call.....
T

#23 OffCenter

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:24 AM

Keep in mind, that, even if the court rules in your favor, they do not enforce collection. You will have to go back to court, file a request for the defendant to appear again in court, and then that defendant must answer, under oath, questions regarding their financial solvency. You will ask the questions you feel may be necessary to collect your claim in the future, such as the defendants current address, whether they own or rent, their current employer (if any), where the employer is located, the contact person at their place of employ (in case wage garnishment is needed), vehicles they own, etc. A collection agency may be necessary.
Any way you slice it, it's an unpleasant process, and seems slanted in favor of nogoodniks.


In Georgia the process is not very hard. It only takes a little paperwork to put a lien on someone's trailer, mud wrestling facilities or meth lab.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#24 JBaymore

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:46 AM

Not so hard here either. Been there , done that, bought the T-shirt, won.

best,

...................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#25 LawPots

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 04:04 PM

Don't delete the phone message. Check with your small claims court. File the claim to cover the work (labor and materials) that you had into them. Use the recording as evidence.... the person KNEW that they were being recorded...so it is admissibnle evidence. Clearly there is an admission there that there WAS an order........ verbakl agreement. Not as strong as a written one.... but you might get lucky.

At the least, annoy the crap out of them.

best,

......................john


You might want to consult a lawyer. Oral contracts are great for litigators. Much better than written contracts, because there's so much more to argue about. Of course, this isn't so great for you when you see the bill.

This is not legal advice for your problem, but potters in the United States should seriously consider reading, and at least attempting to understand, Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. It's enacted by most U.S. states to be a uniform law of sales (each state has a version in its statute books). Article 2 of the U.C.C. has a provision that says: "a contract for the sale of goods for the price of $500 or more is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless there is some writing sufficient to indicate that a contract for sale has been made between the parties and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by his authorized agent or broker." - http://www.law.corne...cc/2/2-201.html Because of this provision, I daresay that anyone taking orders from more than $500 of pottery should consider a signed written sales contract or signed work order to be a prerequisite to the sale. Otherwise there is a real danger that your oral contract isn't worth the paper its written on.
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#26 Iforgot

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:48 PM

F*!?*n people! I'm so sorry!



Darrel
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#27 Benzine

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:15 PM


Keep in mind, that, even if the court rules in your favor, they do not enforce collection. You will have to go back to court, file a request for the defendant to appear again in court, and then that defendant must answer, under oath, questions regarding their financial solvency. You will ask the questions you feel may be necessary to collect your claim in the future, such as the defendants current address, whether they own or rent, their current employer (if any), where the employer is located, the contact person at their place of employ (in case wage garnishment is needed), vehicles they own, etc. A collection agency may be necessary.
Any way you slice it, it's an unpleasant process, and seems slanted in favor of nogoodniks.


In Georgia the process is not very hard. It only takes a little paperwork to put a lien on someone's trailer, mud wrestling facilities or meth lab.

Jim


Jim, I do thoroughly enjoy your posts, and constant updating of your avatar.

Also, the only thing that scares me more, than the Midwestern meth labs/ meth heads, are the Southern meth labs/ meth heads.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#28 Idaho Potter

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:20 PM

I'm with Chris. Weasels! No more commissions!

Back in the day, I was asked--by a friend--to carve a scale model of a Porsche he owned. He'd seen a carving in ironwood (a SW desert wood similar to Lignum Vitae) in one of his magazines and wanted one for his desk. The carving was 1:12 and went for $5000. Of course he wanted a better price and I said it would depend on how large a piece of ironwood I had for the carving. The wood I had was smaller, so I gave a price of $3000 and said I'd stay in touch with him through the carving process. I thought I was being smart by asking for 1/3 down, 1/3 when roughed out, and 1/3 on completion. He talked me down to $300 down and another $500 roughed out. Ironwood is the only wood I've ever carved where I spent as much time sharpening the tools as I did carving.

Long story short, he gave me the $300 came up with an excuse for not giving me the $500 and when I got it finished said it was exactly what he wanted but only offered me $50. Fifty bucks? I thought he was joking. Not so, his idea was the additional $50 was better than nothing and what was I going to do with the finished product anyway? I had even had a special cedar box--lined with red velvet--made as my gift to him for the commission.

Ever had your jaw waggle with no sounds coming out? That happened to me. He was laughing as he tore up the invoice. There were a lot of things I wanted to do, but didn't want to go to jail. I carefully taped the invoice back together and wrote on it, "I have changed my mind and am unwilling to pay the balance owed to Shirley A. Potter". Under this I printed his name and drew a line. I told him this was to keep the paperwork straight. Fool signed it. I put the carving back into the box, picked it up and headed for the door. He wanted to know where I was going and I said home. He tried to stop me, but there were others looking on.

I went home, made copies of everything--including the written agreement that started the whole mess. Attached the copies to a letter giving him 30 days to pay the $2700 owed me or the work would be disposed of by me in a manner of my choosing. He offered me some money, but not the full balance so my oldest daughter received a strange Christmas present that year--with a note reading this is the only car you'll ever get from me. She's happy, I'm happy, and frankly, I still don't give a damn about him!

Haven't taken a commission since.
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#29 Chris Campbell

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:34 AM

Gosh ... I used to think my commission story was bad!!
My people were accidental jerks, not full blown 100% on purpose, bad bad jerks!
Kudos for keeping the work ... i destroyed mine with a sledge hammer. Priceless!

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#30 Idaho Potter

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:50 PM

Thanks Chris. I had invested over three months of measuring, configuring, finding the piece of wood and carving the darn thing. Had it been clay I'd probably dropped it on his floor and walked out.

#31 AtomicAxe

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:07 PM

Good googly moogly! I have blocks of ironwood I'm afraid of working with just because of how hard they are ... tried to work with one, and ended up just burning the wood with high speed tools or destroying my nibs ... i can only imagine something as detailed and specific as a car.

But on that note, good for you doing it the way you did, Idaho Potter.

#32 Idaho Potter

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:35 PM

Atomic Axe--

Yeah, I found out early on that if you want to saw iron wood, you need to reset the teeth to make a wider kerf. I used chisels and rasps and files. Power tools just don't work

Shirley


(edit) and lots of sand paper from 100 garnet to 600 wet/dry.




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