Q: Can a client tell you not to do work after he signed a contract?
A: Yes, provided there is no noncancellation clause in the contract. However, the client will be responsible to pay for work done to date you received the cancellation notice which should be in writing . Additionally the client shall be responsible for reimbursement for actual expenses incurred.
A: To make it simple it all depends on the terms of the contract. Without reading the terms of your contract or agreement any answer would be mere speculation on what your rights are.
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