Mayer Brown Lawyers Prevent Eviction of Pro Bono Clients
17 August 2009
Palo Alto associates Julie Axelrod (Corporate & Securities) and Jack Fitzgerald (Intellectual Property) successfully represented pro bono clients in an unlawful detainer action in the County of Santa Clara in an extremely tight timeframe. The case came to Mayer Brown as a result of the firm’s participation with the Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto. In the case, the landlord filed an eviction lawsuit against the client for partial payment of rent for the month of July, 2009. Tenants withheld partial payment due to problems with an ant infestation and the water being murky and undrinkable, claiming breach of the warranty of habitability and retaliation as defense. They also alleged that the landlord did not properly serve their 3-day notice to pay or quit, since it had been posted on the door but was not mailed as required by California law. After a bench trial, the court found in favor of the tenants, denying the landlord the restitution he sought and allowing our clients to maintain possession of the premises.