Getting All Huffy-ington

According to an article in Politico, two former writers for the Huffington Post – a blog very popular with progressives – have filed suit against Arianna Huffington and her business partner Ken Lerer alleging that the Web site was their idea. They claim it all came about in a two day meeting in December, 2004. According to the plaintiffs they laid out detailed ideas and reached a handshake deal. According to Huffington, the discussion was a general conversation about creating a left leaning platform. She says there was no deal, and contends that the lawsuit is sour grapes because she turned the men down for jobs. The fact that there is no written contract is not fatal to the plaintiffs’ claim – oral contracts are enforceable – but without much evidence of a detailed deal, it’s a tough case. This is sometimes called a “he said she said” case, although here, I guess, it’s more of a “they said/she said” matter. The online world tends to be a little less formal and more free wheeling than the traditional business world. But basic legal principals still apply. If you think you are part of the next big online thing (and the Huffington Post is valued at $100 million) you might want to get it writing, just in case.