Phoenix, AZ (October 27, 2015) – In a remarkable feat, MicroAge compensated its former employees more than $100,000 “toward the legal expenses” they were made to incur defending frivolous legal claims against them.
In late 2013, three (3) former MicroAge employees started Avisolve, LLC, a competing firm to offer technology solutions including Consulting, IT Procurement, and SEO Marketing. Almost immediately after Avisolve opened its doors, MicroAge filed a federal lawsuit complaining of “Copyright Infringement” by Avisolve and its principals (Scott Gossett and John Noble) and employee Russell Dailey. Although MicroAge alleged it was “damaged” because John Noble and Russell Dailey continued to use their own photos (taken as MicroAge employees) as LinkedIn® Profile Photos, Federal Judge Neil V. Wake agreed that the claim was frivolous. Judge Wake ruled, “The copyright claim never had any business substance and was manufactured to give federal jurisdiction.” Judge Wake called MicroAge “unfair,” held that it had “needlessly” maintained litigation “causing pointless expense” to Avisolve, and he awarded the former employees the entirety of the attorneys’ fees and costs they were made to pay defending themselves in the federal case.
MicroAge similarly filed claims in the state Superior Court in Arizona against Avisolve, Gossett, Noble and Dailey claiming the gentlemen breached their restrictive “Employee Agreements” by starting and operating Avisolve. MicroAge claimed these employees solicited business from MicroAge clients and prospects as well as employees, and that they breached third-party relationships with vendors/suppliers.
After nearly two (2) years of litigation, MicroAge never provided a single client, prospect or employee who was solicited by Avisolve or the individual employees. The Honorable Edward O. Burke (Ret.), who was appointed as the Special Discovery Master in the state litigation found that MicroAge was “engaged in gamesmanship,” with a “blatant lack of professionalism.” The Special Discovery Master further chastised that MicroAge should be inducted “into the ‘Bad Faith Hall of Fame’ if there were such an entity.” Based on its own “lack of professionalism,” and what Judge Burke (Ret.) called “a complete disregard” for the legal process, MicroAge sought to mediate the case.is
The presiding judge, the Honorable Roger E. Brodman, echoed Judge Wake and Judge Burke (Ret.), finding that MicroAge’s arguments were filled with “rhetorical flourish” that lacked persuasive value to the Court.
MicroAge agreed to dismiss its claims against Avisolve, the Gossett, Noble and Dailey parties, and MicroAge compensated these parties with more than $100,000 to offset the legal expenditures they paid for defending themselves since 2013.
Tony Meisner, Vice President of Sales for Avisolve, said that “Avisolve finally feels vindicated for the false claims by MicroAge,” and that the settlement demonstrates how “Avisolve never did anything wrong in the first place.” Mr. Meisner was not one of the former employees of MicroAge but joined Avisolve months after it was founded. However, Mr. Meisner has significant experience in sales and sales management and added, “I have seen cases like this before. This was MicroAge’s attempt to put Avisolve out of business. We fought long and hard because Avisolve did nothing wrong. Competition is healthy, and you can expect Avisolve to ramp up our competition with MicroAge more than ever now that this case is behind us. We are here to stay.”
Attorneys for the Defendants, Avisolve, LLC, Scott Gossett, John Noble and Russell Dailey are Veronica Manolio and Merrick Firestone of Manolio & Firestone, PLC.
For more information about Avisolve, visit www.avisolve.com or contact
Tony Meisner, VP of Sales at (480) 707-2717
For information about Avisolve’s legal counsel, visit www.mf-firm.com.