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Filing claim against former university

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I'm trying to decide if I should file a small claims suit against my former university and/or a professor.  A year ago, this professor told me and his graduate student that we would get paid a certain amount to work on a technology demonstrator for a venture capitalist who would pay us by a grant to the university.  He told us well before we finished that the university had already received the grant money and we were going to be paid.  Then at the end of the semester, he told us the university didn't have any record of the check or grant, even though they previously told him before they did.


I graduated and moved out of state shortly after this, but I recently talked to the professor's graduate student, who told me the grant eventually came in and he had been paid, and that my money "was waiting for me".  When I talked to the professor about this, he told me that there was no way I could get paid as I needed to be hired by the university first, and he denied that I was ever supposed to be paid for my previous work. 


The only evidence I have is some email exchanges I had with this professor after I moved.  Where after I tell him I moved permanently (which shows I can't work for him anymore), he says he will try hard to see that I'm paid, blames the university's dysfunction, and suggests the venture capitalist could pay me directly. 


I'm considering filing a small clams suit against the university, since supposedly it received the grant money, and flying in for the court date.  Is this a waste of time? Maybe I should file it against both the university and professor, in case the court sees him as responsible.


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I don't see you being successful against the university as you had no contract or agreement with the university. You relied on the professor's vague reference to somebody else paying you.


Your beef is with the professor though I think he made it clear that he wasn't going to be the one paying you.


If you want to sue him you'll have to sue him where he is located and you won't get anything for travel or time off from work.


Frankly, I do think you would be wasting your time and airfare money.


What you lost in money was your tuition for a life lesson that colleges don't teach in the classroom.





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