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Act 14: I Withdraw My Acceptance

After I submitted my "counter-motion," it started to bother me that I had accepted an offer even though Taubman refused to recognize that we had an agreement – and that as long as my acceptance was on the table, Taubman could force me to accept their original terms at any time merely by sending me the $1,000 that they had originally offered to send me. As conditions may change, I didn't think I wanted to be in that situation forever. So I decided to give Taubman a few days to decide whether or not they wanted to honor our agreement, at which point my acceptance would be withdrawn. Here's the text of the note I FedEx'ed to them on October 8, 2001.

Ms. Greenberg:

This is to inform you that my acceptance of your offer will be withdrawn on October 12, 2001.

More specifically:

  • In your letter of August 16, 2001, you offered me $1,000 in exchange for certain commitments.

  • In my return letter of August 16, 2001, I accepted your offer.

  • As of the writing of this letter, I have not received the payment you offered.

I am therefore informing you that, if I do not have your check in the amount of $1,000 in my possession by the close of business on Friday, October 12, 2001, my acceptance of your offer will be withdrawn, and our agreement will be terminated.

Other than your payment, I will ignore any communication I receive from you on or before October 12, 2001.

Hank Mishkoff

Business closed on October 12, and my check was not in the mail, so my acceptance of Taubman's offer was "officially" withdrawn. But in spite of my clear statement that I did not wish to communicate with her, I received a curious phone call from Ms. Greenberg on October 9, 2001. This is the message that she left on my voice mail.

"Hank, this is Julie Greenberg. I got your letter on October 9th, that's today. It's dated the 8th. You're refering to an agreement, I guess I'm not clear. If we have an agreement, I'm not aware of it. If you think we could make an agreement, I'd like you to call me quickly, because we have a hearing scheduled - or coming up, scheduled - so why don't you give me a call at 248-647-6000 and let me know if there's something that you think has already been worked out. Thank you, bye-bye."

She didn't know what agreement I was talking about? I knew that she didn't feel that we had a valid agreement, but to act puzzled – while she was looking at my letter (above) that spelled out exactly what I meant in great detail – struck me as more than a little disingenuous.

And then there was the surprising news about the upcoming hearing, which I knew nothing about! Not being an attorney, and not being familiar with legal procedure, I recognized that important deadlines could easily have slipped by me. So I called the Court – and the clerk told me that there was nothing scheduled or upcoming at all! The clerk wouldn't even attempt to predict what might happen next or when it might happen – she said that the judge would read the briefs when he felt like it, and then he might issue a ruling, or he might schedule a hearing, and if he did schedule a hearing he'd probably give me a few weeks' notice...

In other words, either the clerk had no idea of what she was talking about, or Ms. Greenberg fed me some misinformation to make me feel a sense of urgency. I wouldn't have thought that lawyers were allowed to do things like that. Shows what I know.

Next: I Lose Round One

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