Editor’s Note: Every Monday Jeff Allen offers you a tip about what you should do to ensure you never miss out — or get beat out — of your well-earned fee.
What Client Says:
You dealt with an “unauthorized hiring authority.”
How Client Pays:
They don’t call him an “unauthorized hiring authority.” But I do because the phrase says it all. They say things like, “The president wasn’t authorized to approve your fee.”
We truly believe everyone — from the janitor to the president — is authorized. The law does too. Actual authority from the client is something you can’t be expected to know. Apparent authority is all you need. You can be as gullible as you like, because the client should be controlling the mouths, pens, and keystrokes of its employees.
If it lets them talk, write, type, listen and read — believe! Then place away. Let the client argue the lack of authority. You were misled. It is estopped (stopped or prevented) from asserting the lack of authority.
It’s frightening that any employee can bind an employer. But it’s based on the right of control and the public policy to protect people who deal with a business.
So don’t give someone the third degree if they utter something that sounds like a job order. If you do, you’ll be showing that you doubt him. Instead, just be able to prove you cleared the fee. Your JO should always show the date of fee confirmation, a copy of the personalized fee schedule sent to him, and anything you can get signed.
Then centuries of law will work — for you!.