BlueSky - 4:15 am on Feb 14, 2004 (gmt 0) Always go for written contracts so the terms are in black and white.
I think in most states you can have verbal contracts. Winning a default judgment is always ideal. If you two appear in front of the judge and show totally different understandings of the terms, he will likely say there's no meeting of the minds thus no enforcable contract. If the other party wanted to use your work, the judge will decide what your compensation will be. If he doesn't want to use it, you would probably end up with nothing but your work back.
Always go for written contracts so the terms are in black and white.