Last year, your friend started making artisanal ice-cream out of her home. After months of you and some of your other mutual friends encouraging her to try and sell her delicious concoctions for a profit, she began officially marketing her ice-creams to different gourmet supermarkets around the valley. After getting a few large orders, she decided she should form a Limited Liability Company, or LLC, and develop a brand. She asked you if you would come up with a logo for her company, because she knows this is something you do for small businesses as a way of earning money while finishing your transfer degree at Valley College in graphic design. On January 9th, while you guys are on-campus getting coffee at Lion Cafe, you tell her you’ve thought about her request and even though you’re really busy with school and freelance jobs right now, you can make her a logo by next month for $1,000. That will include your creating a logo, redoing it after you show it to her if she has any changes she’d like, and sending her the Illustrator file for the design so that she can use/own it once it is done. She thanks you and says that she will pay that price in exchange for the work. A few minutes later, you finish your coffees and part ways to go back to class. Approximately two weeks later, on January 16th , you send her the completed logo via email. She emails you back telling you she likes the design but that she wants the ice-cream scoop in the logo to be pink instead of blue as you had chosen.
You change it to pink, email it back to her again, and she emails back saying “Thanks, I love it!” She continues writing: “I don’t have the money right now since you said it wouldn’t be ready for a month, but I’ll have it for you by the end of the January, promise! J” In mid-February, you hear that she signs a contract with the Whole Foods on Riverside Drive, wherein they will be buying 200 cartons of her Marshmallows & Mango flavor each week, for the rest of 2018, at $7/carton. You leave her a voicemail about paying you and she does not respond. A week later, on February 22nd, you email her to remind her that she still hasn’t paid you, and she responds right away, writing “To be honest, I didn’t think you were serious about charging me $1,000. I thought we were friends and you were doing it as a favor. And besides, your logo was something by 10 year-old niece could have come up with. Stop harassing me. I don’t owe you anything.” You decide to sue her to get your money, but can not afford to hire a lawyer and know you can not find one who will take this case on a contingency basis. So you decide to file a case yourself, in Small Claims Court.