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Monco v. Janus

583 N.E.2d 575 (1991)

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Monco v. Janus

Illinois Appellate Court

583 N.E.2d 575 (1991)

Facts

Ronald Janus (defendant) and attorney Dean Monco (plaintiff) were equal owners of JI-SCO-NI Enterprises, Inc. (Jisconi). Jisconi owned patent rights to an invention Janus and Monco had assigned to the company. Monco petitioned to dissolve Jisconi because of deadlock over control. Janus counterclaimed to vacate the assignment and compel Monco to turn over his Jisconi shares to Janus, claiming the invention was Janus’s idea, Monco was Janus’s personal attorney, and the assignment and Monco’s Jisconi ownership resulted from undue influence. Janus asserted he was never advised he and Monco would each have 100 percent nonexclusive rights under the patent upon the corporation’s dissolution. Janus testified that he shared an idea with Monco and he and Monco agreed to pursue the idea and share expenses and that Monco would provide free representation. Janus believed Monco was his attorney and looking out for his interests. Janus denied Monco told him to get independent legal advice. Monco testified that Janus asked him to go into business and offered him half of the venture, and that Monco advised Janus to obtain outside counsel. Monco contributed $13,000 in capital contributions to Jisconi. Monco admitted he did not know until shortly before filing the dissolution petition of the effect of Jisconi’s dissolution on each owner’s patent rights. The court dismissed Janus’s counterclaim. Janus appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Buckley, J.)

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