Legal Question in Business Law in California

For CALIFORNIA: in January, I was working for a company as an employee. They needed a publicist, and I recommended my colleague. The colleague and the company entered into a contract together for services -- my name was NOWHERE on the contract; the contract was signed by my then-boss on behalf of the company, and my colleague. My colleague was promised 7500 for her services, but she only received half of that. The company claimed she didn't perform her services, but obviously that isn't true, and she wants to go to small claims court to recover the other half. HOWEVER, SHE is claiming that the company told her that THE COMPANY can SUE ME if she wins the case. My question is: is this true? That doesn't seem to ring right to me -- all I did was introduce the two of them, not sign the contract. It seems rather retaliatory in nature, which I know in California cannot happen. Can someone please advise if the company has a case against me if my colleague wins the small claims suit?


Asked on 3/31/16, 6:56 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

Absolutely not, for a lot of reasons. I doubt the company really told her that, and if they did they're idiots. They could, however, fire you for it if you are still working there.

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Answered on 3/31/16, 9:50 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

The company is probably bluffing in the hope that your friend will back down. Probably.

Nothing you've written suggests that the company has a viable claim against you, or that losing your friend's lawsuit would create one. I can imagine circumstances where it would, though. They don't come up often, and I don't have enough information to say whether they're present here.

Sometimes businesses or individuals who have no grounds for a lawsuit decide to sue anyway. That's usually because they mistakenly believe they have valid claims, but sometimes it's done maliciously. Either of those things could happen here. Litigation can be an ordeal, even if you win.

As I said, I have no reason to think the company has grounds to sue you or that it would actually do so. Based on the limited information I have, the risk seems quite small. But a business rash enough to make this kind of threat might also be rash enough to go through with it.

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Answered on 3/31/16, 11:36 am
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

I agree with the previous answers, but would add that "can they sue me" is a different proposition than "can they win?" You might be called upon to defend a baseless suit that you would win, but at some expense and a lot of time and effort.

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Answered on 3/31/16, 9:37 pm


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