An adjournment would not resolve the case, as both parties could then contest Design Duo’s actual out of pocket costs at another trial.
I could find in favor of Design Duo for the full $4,000 down payment, as that is what the contract said. However, Design Duo’s fee was to be earned upon approval of the plans by Ira and Irene, making their case for 50% of their final fee somewhat weak.
If an award in any amount for Design Duo is entered against Ira and Irene, the national credit agencies that issue credit scores will publicly disclose that fact, which will damage their credit scores, making it costly or impossible for them to obtain any future credit.
I advised the parties to consider entering into a negotiated stipulation of settlement between them, with strict enforcement if Ira and Irene failed to make the agreed payments. This would keep the dispute private, and finally settle it.
After some discussion between the parties, the case was settled by a mutual agreement of the parties for $2,500, permitting Design Duo to enter judgment against Ira and Irene in the sum of $4,000 if they did not pay the settlement within 10 days.
Do you agree?