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The Client Interview

Portrait of Stephen Acker.

Stephen Acker, Lawyer

Portrait of Alex Bradley.

Alex Bradley, Client

The audio file's transcript is available on this page, underneath the audio player.

Duration: 3 minutes and 41 seconds

Alex Bradley first meeting with Stephen Acker and Ben Hall

Stephen Acker:

Good morning Alex, I'm Stephen Acker. We spoke on the phone. I'm glad to meet you. Please meet my associate, Ben Hall. He's going to be helping me on this file. Please come into our conference room and have a seat. We'll sit down and talk about your issue; the facts that are important that we know, so that we can advise you and give you the very best advice we can.

Alex Bradley:

So, I'm getting out of Tech World. I want to incorporate an educational software company as soon as I can. Oh, and I'll need to meet with your IP people. I have a beta version of a program that will turn on-line teaching on its head. It's fabulous. And there's nothing like it on the North American market. It was Miriam's idea. We worked on it together up until the day she died. It kept us both distracted from her illness. Well, now the boys and their friends have been pilot testing this program and it is fabulous. It is engaging and it gets results.

I was going to bring it to Tech World, but the Duttons are monsters and I want nothing to do with them. Besides they don't know anything about educational applications, they're only into business applications.

You know, I have met some horrible people, but the Duttons take the cake. When I sold them Tech World, I was totally upfront. I warned them that work had to take a back seat to Miriam and the boys. I promised them I would work as long as I could, but didn't give them a time limit and then told them that when Miriam's condition got worse, I would have to scale back. And, of course, that was exactly what I did; I followed through with my promise. The first nine months I was totally there; then Miriam got worse and I scaled back. For the following six months I was there, oh two days a week, just to make sure that things were working ok, and they were. When Miriam died, I took two months off. But then I came back and I was ready to go right back at it. And while I was gone, without even calling me, sending a letter or communicating with me in any way, they split up my research team and took away my authority, turned my office into a conference room, and moved me to a windowless cubbyhole. Then, they took away my assistant and accused me of misrepresenting the company's financial picture. I needn't tell you my last meeting with Pat Dutton was a shout-out.

To hell with them. When I leave, there are three key people that will follow me anywhere, and then what will they have?

I want to get out of there with no strings attached, and I want to do it now. Oh, I do have my employment agreement. Yes, I signed an employment agreement with them. I'm sorry I didn't review it with you, but I never thought I'd leave Tech World. Anyway, the agreement says I can give 30-days notice. But there is this clause 10 that I'd like you to look at. It says something about my not being able to compete with Tech World and I don't have a problem with that because they're not even in the educational market. But there's this other clause saying that I'm not allowed to do any similar duties almost anywhere. What does that mean? And should that matter to me? I want to be clear that the new program that I developed has nothing to do with Tech World. Miriam and I worked on it on our own time and Tech World and the Duttons know nothing about the program and didn't have any involvement with it at all. I also want to stay in the Toronto area. I just want to know what I have to do to make a clean break and continue to live in Toronto and get on with the project without getting bogged down in a legal battle with the Duttons. Let me know what you can do.