My brother and I own a data recovery company in NYC that we just started up about 1 year ago. We are now facing our first legal trouble and would like some advice on the matter as we do not have deep pockets to hire an attorney.
We had a wedding photographer (client) who needed photos recovered from a hard drive. The client agreed to proceed with a $4500 quote to recover the data. After a succesful recovery, we made several attempts to contact the client to pay the outstanding debt. After sending numerous letters and emails we learned that the client fled the country. The contract that the client signed stated that his property would be ours after a certain amount of days if he did not claim it.
About a week later we received a call from one of the brides whose photos were on the recovered disk. She said she knew the other brides and would contact them to gather the sum owed.
A few days later her father who happens to be an attorney in NYC sent us a letter that basically stated that her daughter does not know the brides and she is willing to pay $1000 of the total amount owed. He gave us by Friday to respond or he will be taking "further action" to obtain the photos.
Who lawfully owns these photos? What are our legal options?