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How strong is a verbal contract?

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Long time listener, first time poster.. :)

I have a few questions, hopefully someone can help me out here..

First off, a couple of months back, was hired by an international public relations firm out of its Los Angeles office.

I flew out on my own coin, did the interview and was offered a job on the spot, worked out the money and the moving expense issues, etc.

When I returned home, I gave my notice, however just remembered about getting a 'contract' to protect me just in case something should happen.. So I contacted the person that hired me and her response was to put my moving expenses together and then it would all be done up.

After about 2 weeks, I finally put it all together and asked how this company would like me to transmit my moving expenses and I received an e-mail stating that they had 'tried to get in touch with me with no success' because they basically no longer had a job opening (in not so few words). Naturally they had my contact information, however nothing was received at my home email/tel (a former employee of mine at my former job had my email forwarded to him after I had left, as well as my calls.. nothing was received by him).

I collected all former email correspondence on this issue, however the ONE email which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was 'hired' by this company prior to being shut out by them via verbal contract, mysteriously vanished from my former mail program. All correspondence remained however, incidentally.

I guess what I am getting at, because I've tried every avenue on my end to retrive that email, is how strong can a verbal contract be? ..Especially for purposes of looking for compensation, since I had left my previous job for the one I supposedly had, only to lose that unexpectedly with little/no reason a day before I was making my flight/moving commitments :).

Any help with this would be outstanding :)

Thank you much

-Peter Voelzke


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