If I designed a web site for a friend asking that it be included in my portfolio and have display my logo but she has breached that agreement, can I sue?

I designed, created and maintained a web site for a friend. All I asked in return was that it be included in my fledgling portfolio, and that the web site contain a very small version of my logo and a link to my business web site at the bottom of its pages. I also taught my friend how to update the site with text that described her weekly dinner specials. However, I found out that she couldn’t spell, and used terrible grammar. So I edited her errors. She has since locked me out of the program and removed my logo. I sent her an invoice for services. She refuses to pay.

Asked on June 7, 2012 under Business Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An oral agreement (assuming there is no written contract) is enforceable, but it's only enforceable as per  its actual terms. So if the agreement was that she would display your logo and let you use it in your portfolio, you could possibly sue her  to enforce those terms--logo and portfolio. However, you could not sue her for payment or otherwise require her to pay, if that had not been the agreement between you--one party to an agreement may not unilaterally, or on its own, change the terms of the agreement, such as by requiring the other party to pay amounts which they had not agreed to be responsible for.

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