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Mayer Brown Wins Judgment for Pro Bono Start-Up Client

5 November 2014
Mayer Brown Article

Mayer Brown litigators successfully sued a web developer who was interfering with the start up of pro bono client Moon Meals, Inc. Moon Meals is a new, minority-owned Chicago-based catering company dedicated to delivering healthy chef-prepared meals, including tasty meat, vegan and gluten-free meals.

In exchange for a one-third stake in Moon Meals, the defendant had promised to invest in the company and to develop and run a new company website for taking orders. But after getting the stock, the defendant failed to pay the agreed-upon amount or to deliver the website. Instead, he created a competing website. Moreover, the defendant used his putative one-third ownership of the company to prevent Moon Meals from obtaining a required operating license.

After the defendant rebuffed Moon Meals’ efforts (made by corporate lawyers from Mayer Brown) to reach an amicable resolution, Mayer Brown litigators sued the defendant in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, for breach of contract and violations of the Illinois Trademark Registration and Protection Act, among other claims.

The defendant defaulted, but later moved to vacate the default judgment and defend, claiming that his conduct was proper and that he performed all of his obligations. Although Cook County courts routinely vacate default judgments in these circumstances, the Mayer Brown litigation team persuaded the court to deny the defendant’s motion on the grounds that the defendant had not been diligent and that his purported defenses were baseless. The final judgment required the defendant to surrender all of his stock and turn over his competing website, thereby clearing the way for Moon Meals to obtain its license and operate its business.

Mayer Brown litigation associate Alexandra Newman handled all of the written filings and court hearings, supervised by litigation partner Howard Roin and Director of Pro Bono Activities and Litigation Training Marc Kadish.

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