Legal Question in Legal Ethics in Illinois

I hired a videographer who was referred by a family member to tape my wedding on June 25, 2011. There was no written contract, however an oral agreement was created. We sent a money order for $500 to his home address months before the wedding to secure the date. About a week before the wedding he told us that he got into a horrible car accident and his son would be filming in place of him. As of today's date, August 16, 2012, we have not recieved the wedding video. I e-mailed the videographer to ask him the status and he told me to call him. During our conversation he told me that he was able to review the video and it was of poor quality. Also, his computer crashed and he needed to pay someone to come retrieve it from the hard drive. He informed me that he would pay us our money back as well as give us the video and asked if we could set up a payment plan. I e-mailed him a payment plan suggesting he pay us $50 a month for a total of ten months and to update us on the progress of the edited video. He responded and said he would get back to me and never did. He has not provided a video to the couple who referred us (who was married a month earlier) either. Am I able to sue this man for breach of an oral contract? I am very upset and don't know if I have a case.

Asked on 8/16/12, 8:26 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

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Terrible....Sounds like both you and the other couple were scammed, and of course having no written contract and now only phone conversations plus an email trail that compromised the repayment obligation doesn't help much. For better or worse videographers as far as I know are not subject to any kind of licensing, and therefore have no accountability except perhaps a local business license, in which case you may be able to lodge a complaint with the local authorities, or you could contact the Illinois Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Division, or the Better Business Bureau. If you were to sue, unfortunately the amount is so low, and without a contract awarding attorney fees if you won, this is something that as a matter of princple you may want to do "pro se" but in reality I just hope you have enough still pictures that guests took that could fill in the holes.

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8/20/12, 12:22 pm

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