About 10 years ago I spoke to a lawyer (a friend of a friend) about how I would sell my shares in a company I started. He said he can give me some advice, but could not do the deal or take money because of conflict of interest (his law firm dealt with the relative of one of the one of the people involved in business). When I was ready to sell my shares I wrote him, informing him I will be getting another lawyer- he did object to it at all. Seven months later, after the deal was over, he sends a bill to me for $6,000.
I didn’t pay and, after expressing his bewilderment why I don’t pay him, said I can be the judge of what the outcome is.
I greatly suspect that he is speaking loshen about me and that his brother in law has already spoken to others about I supposedly did.
Even though this is over 10 years ago, should I try to make contact with his brother in law to clarify the truth?
If the person still has ill feeling towards you about what happened, then you should try to clear things up with him. The first reason is so that both of you will not hate each other, speak lashon hora etc. Additionally, you should clarify things, and hear the other side of the story, because just in case the person does have a claim against you, you don’t want to get stuck owing him money. However, before approaching the subject, it is important for you to know, and to keep this point in your mind at all times. Your goal hear is not to show that you are right, but to discuss the topic and try to clear things up. If your attitude is going to be that you want to prove your point, in all probability, the other side will get defensive and it will make the ill feelings worse. Therefore if you can, open up some sort of dialogue, but remember what your goal is – to bring about peace, and not to prove your point.