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This flailing internet company I used to work for -- a company I co-founded -- owes me a lot of money. When I left in 1999, they agreed to buy my stock back this month for $400,000. They've since acquired, and burned through, more than $50,000,000. They have enough money to pay me now, but between me and the other people they owe, they're probably broke, and the big-money investors won't see any of their jack. So the company is welching on its debts. They're dribbling money out, trying to reduce their burn rate, and waiting for ... what? A miracle? Some mouth-breathing stumblefuck to give them another $20 million? Not bloody likely.

So I hire a lawyer, and he says I can:

  1. demand to enter mediation
  2. demand to enter mediation, and file a writ of attachment
  3. file a lawsuit

    The company can ignore and stall on options 1 & 3 for long enough to spend the rest of the money, and a writ of attachment will cost me $20-$30K. A writ is essentially a legal way of calling "dibs" on some of the company's assets -- I'd probably just attach $450,000 in their bank account. But if they file bankruptcy, my $20K writ is invalidated -- thanks to a recent California court decision. Good for credit-card fraudsters, but I'm just fucked.

    The moral of the story is, if you don't have a fuck-ton of money, you'd better get comfortable as a wage slave.

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