|So, I'm being sued by a startup that I used to work for. I don't want to go in to the details for obvious reasons, but it's been really stressful and difficult.|
I was recruited to work as the first employee for this startup, spent a good deal of time and effort on it, and then had the founder turn around and sue me. They're demanding more money from me than I was ever paid to begin with, because of some vague damages that I (allegedly intentionally) caused.
All of his claims are patently false (and I have documentation to that point), and boils down to the founder trying to scapegoat me for his own mistakes. However, he's independently wealthy and knows that I don't have much money and likely won't be able to defend myself. So, in essence, it feels like an adult form of bullying.
I have no idea what to do. I can't afford an attorney. I'm also concerned that there's this public mark on my record (e.g., a future employer googles me and finds this lawsuit).
So, what do I do? Have any of you been in a similar place with an early-stage startup? How do it go? Why do people suck so much?
EDIT: I was apparently responding to too many questions, and am rate limited, so I can't respond anymore.
I am a student and I have called my student legal services. This case is too big for them to handle. In the words of one of the people I spoke with, "you would have been better off getting a DWI."
It is a lawsuit in federal court, not just a threatening letter. I have considered going pro se, but I'm too concerned about following proper procedure.
I was W2 not 1099. I've reviewed my employment agreements, and that's part of what makes this whole thing baseless. Without going into details, their allegations suggest that my employment agreements require me to do things that they don't actually specify. It's akin to firing a airline pilot because they didn't serve enough soda to the passengers.
Thanks specifically to the users that recommended Grellas. I'm speaking with him later today :)