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Several months ago the courts ruled in favor of the ten or so writers who have been suing Glenn Harris and Caribbean Escapes for moneys owed. Tuesday I'll be accompanying SATW's lawyer to court for a procedure that assesses the exact damages due. How many of you have been stiffed in recent years -- and how successful were you in collecting what was owed?
Ed - This doesn't involve me, but I'm pleased whenever writers stop being doormats for others. In Canada we've just concluded two class-action lawsuits that have greatly enriched the lawyers, but also spread about $15 million to writers (I think the totals were around $31 million with the lawyers getting half).
We have a saying: grab'em by the short hairs, twist and yank.
As the Kiwis would say, Good on ye, luv.
Large hardback coffee table lavishly illustrated annual, yes? I think I was in brief contact with this person back several years ago about contributing, so glad it came to nothing since I would have been left with nothing. He probably came up with the book title because his plan was to escape paying writers. Sad, that.
Three years ago in Colorado, I sued a publisher who owed me 25K (deferred salary on a custom glossy print magazine start-up). I sued him both as an individual and as a business, and won both suits. However, the publisher immediately left town and is now lodged in Austin, Texas. I haven't collected a single cent.
Go get 'em Ed! I know a lot of writers and editors got shafted on this one. The gods of ethics and professionalism be with you and the SATW lawyer. Thanks for keeping us posted.
Thanks, Mary Alice. As we used to say during the anti-war days, Venceremos. You wouldn't remember. Good instincts, Hal. Debra, yours is the most infuriating story I've heard. I'm not sure I could ever calm down after an experience like that. Judging by your profile, you're a lot more skilled at calming down than most people.
Allan: Twist and yank, you say. Wasn't that a hit by the Isley Brothers?
I was never paid for four months of work for Business Traveler USA, and when my lawyer sent a demand letter for payment, the publisher responded by suing me for slander and libel.
So, now, not only am I out for money invoiced and not paid but also for the attorney's fees to fight (successfully, of course) the frivolous suit.
I'm delighted, however, to hear about your success! Good luck, though, in actually collecting any cash.
Good for you, Ed, and good luck! I was stiffed last year by a NYC design firm who reduced my rate for writing a brochure for a client of theirs (as always, on the promise of more work in the future) and then never paid. Never. Despite repeated calls and e-mails from me and also the writer who referred me to them. When I last heard, they were crying bankruptcy. Since I live many states away, I can't harass them the way I would like to and the sum isn't worth hiring a lawyer for. Just another hard luck writer's story in a field of many.
Susan, your story is particularly dismaying: You lose what you're owed -- and then you end up having to pay attorney's fees. You're right, too, about the chances of collecting. If nothing else, we hope word of this lawsuit will get around to the travel writing community.
I hope they get what they are owed.
As a photographer I have had quite a few people try to stiff me. Maybe I'm just lucky or it is how I had set up my own work practices the client has always ended up paying.
I would like to think that these type of findings in the courts reverberate internationally through the creative industries good luck mate.
Allan why shouldn't lawyers make money of their skills? It is a really simple equation there are lawyers because of peoples dishonesty.Usually once one wines commercial court cases the courts also award damages legal costs are included.