Area Bartender Doesn’t Get Hired, But Wins Suit for ‘Consulting’ Fees

Interviewer: It’s 1-800-LAW-1010, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti on the phone.

Interviewer 2: All right, Paul, we got a topic for you. But what’s the Super Bowl plan this weekend?

Paul: Oh, the Super Bowl plan. So, you know, I’m looking for the Bills, I’m still wondering if they’re gonna somehow squeak in.

Interviewer 2: They’re not. They’re not gonna make it.

Paul: Is that a no? Hard no. Yeah, you know, we’ll watch it. You know, obviously when you’re team’s not in it, you can’t… You know, put it this way. It’ll be on in my house and I will watch at least half of it.

Interviewer 2: What about the spread? You got a certain meal?

Paul: I don’t know. [crosstalk 00:00:33].

Interviewer 2: Think about this. I know you’re busy saving lives and stuff. Think about this.

Interviewer: Just put some sort of sausage in some bread and enjoy it.

Paul: Oh, it sounds so good. It sounds so good. Yeah, we’re gonna just kinda just lay low. Again, I think the Super Bowl should be on a Saturday. We’ve gotta try to move that, because you go to work Monday. It’s like, how much fun can you really be having on Sunday before a workday?

Interviewer: No, and if you watch the whole thing it doesn’t end until 10:00, a little after 10:00 and then…

Paul: My bedtime.

Interviewer: And then an hour after that is part of the fun stuff, too.

Interviewer 2: Right. All Right. Attorney Paul Harding from Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti. We want to hit this story out of Guilderland where a seasoned veteran bartender goes to the Orchard Tavern West to apply for a job. And I guess the interview’s extensive, like, hours long over the course of time.

Interviewer: I think, like, 10 hours or something?

Interviewer 2: Doesn’t get the job, but then goes to small claims court and tries to get paid as a consultant and it worked out for him, right?

Paul: It did sort of work out for him, they sort of split the baby. They said look, “We’re gonna give you five hours of consulting services,” and they attached a certain amount to his hours. But I would say small claims court is a court of kind of fairness. So the judge out there must’ve listened to this and said, “They really took some trade secrets or advice from this guy, they really got a lot of information, and then didn’t hire him.” Because I don’t think on its face, there was actually a consulting agreement agreed to, you know, a contract kind of thing. So I think they just did what was fair. [crosstalk 00:02:00].

Interviewer 2: Yeah, 190 bucks.

Interviewer: I think that’s what the civil courts are for in this country, right? I mean, you know.

Paul: Yeah. You know, it must’ve been. The story the judge must’ve heard was that they really didn’t intend on hiring him, they intended on extracting his again, recipe, for his favorite gin tonic or whatever it is, and then…or how best to run this and best to do that.

Interviewer: So if somebody wastes my time, or at least if I feel like somebody wastes my time, can I take him to court?

Paul: Not usually. No, I mean, look at… I mean, when you guys, at some point you applied for the job here I’m sure, right? There was a interview process, a rigorous one, I know there’s a lot of different groups that wanted to come here, right? So you probably spent hours and hours and hours, but at no point did you really anticipate if you didn’t get the job, you were gonna get a check.

Interviewer 2: No.

Interviewer: No, never did. For sure.

Interviewer 2: I wouldn’t do it, but it was a long drive for the interview, and Quinn had to fly in for the interview. We didn’t get the job, we might’ve sent him a small bill for gas and airfare.

Paul: I gotcha. Okay. Well, there you go.

Interviewer: Yeah, I think John paid for some sort of travel. I was like, down to nothing, Paul. I had barely anything left.

Paul: Yeah, right.

Interviewer 2: Paul, so what is small claims court? Is it worth it? Or is it just where people, like, end arguments? Is it ever friendly in small claims court?

Interviewer: Is it like the judicial Twitter?

Paul: Well, friendly’s a unique… You know. That’s a tough one to define. But what it is if you have a claim that you feel someone owes you $3,000 or less, and the filing fee is virtually nothing, you go there, you know, non-jury. Just kind of a judge sits there and says, “I’m listening to you, I’m listening to you.” You know, it’s like Judge Judy, right? And you win. And so it’s great to go to settle a dispute. It’s not super friendly, I don’t think… I think a lot of people leave super frustrated, but ultimately something gets resolved.

Interviewer 2: If you read the whole article of The Times Union. The guy, the bartender who did the 10-hour of interviewing and stuff sent a picture or sent an invoice to the guy who owns the tavern. And the guy who owns the tavern tore up the invoice and texted him a picture back, the bartender takes the picture back to it. So clearly it wasn’t friendly at the end there.

Interviewer: No. [crosstalk 00:04:08]. Probably couldn’t have settled it before the courtroom, yeah. Hey Paul, thanks for coming on and talking to us about it, we appreciate it.

Interviewer 2: Enjoy the game this weekend.

Paul: All right guys, thank you. You, too.

Interviewer: All right, take care. Paul Harding, Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti, 1-800-LAW-1010,