Masuda Funai represents business clients from diverse industries and specialized market segments from around the globe faced with domestic commercial disputes and litigation. We have successfully resolved high-stakes claims in courts and tribunals throughout the country involving single, multi-plaintiff and class action litigation. We utilize our experience to aggressively - but efficiently - assist our clients assert or defend business disputes, regardless of claim size.
In addition to our proven advocacy ability, we offer demonstrable skill in explaining the complexities of domestic litigation and the American court systems, which can be complicated for international businesses unfamilair with U.S. law and procedure. Our in-depth understanding of a wide range of cultures and fluency in a multitude of languages has allowed us to successfully advise foreign-owned business clients with limited English ability or whose documents are in their native language. We have also developed expertise in helping our clients coordinate and manage the complexities of cross-border litigation.
Our litigators are proven negotiators with extensive courtroom experience involved in a wide variety of business disputes, ranging from complex commercial and patent litigation to contract, real estate/construction, employment and partnership disputes; to cargo/shipping claims, antitrust matters, insurance coverge and product liability. Our national and international industry experience is equally broad and includes high tech, electronics and semi-conductors, automotive, heavy manufacturing, transporation and distribution, shipping and trade, import and export, telecommunications, life sciences, healthcare, retail and hospitality, among others. We also work diligently with clients on litigation prevention and risk management techniques designed to reduce the exposure to, and the cost of, litigation.
Whether a dispute involves federal, state or appellate court, arbitration or private negotiation designed to eliminate conflict behind the scenes, we are commited to a strategic approach to problem-solving and bring the right mix of lawyers to match the specific needs of each client. This means we listen to what our clients tell us they want to achieve and we articulate and discuss, in clear and simple terms, the optimal approach to dispute resolution, risk management and cost-containment. We make a point of preparing our clients for the rigors of litigation with a single purpose — to win.
Settled on highly favorable terms in multi-million dollar preference claims asserted by a customer in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, on behalf of two Japan manufacturers of semiconductor equipment and a California subsidiary of one of the manufacturers.
Swiftly secured a dismissal with prejudice in federal court in Chicago for clients on a pro se plaintiff's billion dollar claim for infringement of a U.S. patent relating to security and mobile telephone technology.
Won a summary judgment of non-infringement for a client accused of stealing a former employee's patented process who was seeking over $100 million in damages.
Defended an international printing press supplier against claims of fraud and breach of warranty made by the equipment purchaser in a $20 million dollar arbitration claim filed with the American Arbitration Association in Texas; participated in the first three weeks of a scheduled eight-week long hearing in Texas, after which the matter was settled for a favorable amount.
Defended an international printing press supplier against arbitration claims in excess of $1 million for breach of contract and breach of warranty filed with the American Arbitration Association in New York; participated in a week-long arbitration hearing in Manhattan, New York, resulting in a low 5-figure award.
Represented a machine tool manufacturer and its Japan parent in obtaining a preliminary injunction against infringement of its name and trademarks before a federal court in Chicago.
Settled claims of patent infringement and unfair trade practices brought by a patentee in federal court in Hawaii on terms highly favorable to several seafood distributor defendants.
Achieved a significant reduction in penalties and charges levied by OSHA against an Illinois manufacturer in connection with an industrial accident.
Obtained a complete victory for a printing press supplier defending contract-based claims in a week-long arbitration in Chicago, enabling the client to subsequently obtain a judgment against the arbitration claimant in court and secure a seven-figure recovery.
Represented an international manufacturer of computer parts in a settlement conference in Tokyo, Japan involving multiple parties from the United States, Japan and Taiwan and claims in excess of $90,000,000 in the aggregate; assisted the client in bringing the matter to a speedy and satisfactory resolution for a tiny fraction of the disputed amount.
Obtained summary judgment against former employee under the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act where the Court held that the former employee failed to offer a disputed issue of fact that his former employer retaliated against him based upon the threat of reporting alleged illegal activity to the City of Detroit. The Court had earlier granted a motion to dismiss the former employee’s related claims holding that the former employee could not maintain both a statutory and a common law cause of action under the same theory. Yurk v. Applications Software Tech. Corp., No. 15-cv-13962, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7244 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 17, 2018) (granting summary judgment); Yurk v. Applications Software Tech. Corp., No. 15-cv-13962, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22804 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 17, 2017) (granting motion to dismiss common law claim).
Achieved complete dismissal of arbitration claims alleging violations of the Federal RICO Statute, common law fraud, and breach of contract, where initial claims requested in excess of $450M in damages stemming from the bankruptcy and liquidation of the Plaintiff company; all claims initially filed in federal district court in the Southern District of New York and arbitration compelled based upon controlling contractual provision in pertinent contract documents (Sep. 2018).
Achieved complete dismissal of claims filed in arbitration against a U.S. subsidiary of a Korean Tier 1 auto supplier by its Tier 2 contractor.
Defended a German-based global manufacturer of precision measuring equipment in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by a direct competitor in the Northern District of Illinois.
Obtained a $1.827 million judgment against a California-based entity on behalf of an equipment supplier.
Obtained complete dismissal of Trademark and Copyright Claims filed in United States District Court against a domestic consumer electronics company by competitor located in Southeast Asia. Client retained all rights to pertinent trademark registrations in the United States, and as a part of a global resolution of worldwide disputes related to the pertinent trademark and copyright, client also maintained trademark registrations in European Union jurisdictions which allowed client to significantly expand distribution footprint into European marketplace (June 2020).
Obtained preliminary and permanent injunction against former employee and his new company for alleged misappropriation of software source code and other trade secrets related to potential new product application which former employee worked on prior to separation from company. Mitutoyo America Corporation v. Cox and Fast CMM, LLC, No. 20-cv-03778 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 14, 2020).
Obtained complete dismissal of an Illinois Consumer Fraud Act claim in a multi-party lawsuit before the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
Successfully represented a landscaping company in a federal lawsuit involving breach of restrictive covenant claims, resulting in a withdrawal of the complaint.
Successfully represented an international manufacturing company in former employee's federal lawsuit involving claims of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, resulting in the federal court granting summary judgment on all four claims in favor of the company.
Obtained a preliminary injunction against a former employee and after-market service provider where the Court found a likelihood of success as to the Plaintiff's Defend Trade Secrets Act, Illinois Trade Secrets Act, breach of contract and tortious interference claims related to the former employee providing company property to the after-market company for use in servicing the Plaintiff's customers. After entry of the injunction by the Court, the case quickly settled on favorable terms. Mazak Optonics Corp. v. Marlette, No. 17-cv-1023, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124629 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 8, 2017).
Successfully defended a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese company, a sister company and their Japanese parent from age discrimination claims alleged by a terminated manager with an initial demand of over $1M obtaining a complete dismissal of all claims. Kotegawa v. MAC Funding, et. al., No. 16-cv-4150 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 19, 2017).
After a bench trial, achieved a verdict in favor of a corporate shareholder in a partnership dispute where the opposing party argued for dilution of the corporate shareholder's equity interest due to a failure to timely fund progress payments of cash into the company, with the Court ruling that the corporate shareholder made all required payments and maintained its 50% equity interest. Bishop Technologies Ltd. v. DBCMF, LLC, et al., No. 14-cv-10329 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 28, 2017).
Court granted a motion to dismiss, with prejudice, claims against the former parent company of the Plaintiff based upon the exclusive forum selection clause in the operative contract selecting South Korea as the venue for litigation. DMC Machinery America Corp. v. FFG DMC Co., Ltd., et al, No. 16-cv-269, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152494 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 2, 2016).
In a three-panel arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, achieved victory for an optical development company where the arbitrators awarded nearly $4M finding that the purchaser improperly withheld monies due under the supply agreement which governed the relationship between the parties (July 2016).
Member of litigation team and lead drafter of Motions to Dismiss granted in District Court on behalf of private investigators in malicious prosecution and other improper prosecutorial conduct claims, with the District Court's ruling ultimately affirmed by the Seventh Circuit. Bianchi v. McQueen, et al., 818 F.3d 309 (7th Cir. 2016).
Obtained defense verdict at trial following partial summary judgment win while working with Chipotle's lead national counsel as to allegations of discrimination based upon race and national origin, and retaliation, among other related claims. Bob-Manuel v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 10 F. Supp. 3d 854 (N.D. Ill. 2014).
Secured defense verdict in favor of multiple defendants on claims of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, with the Court granting a directed verdict in the defendants' favor on breach of fiduciary duty claims. Svoboda v. Club Zobak, et al., 2011 L 286 (Circuit Court of Will County, Illinois, Dec. 12, 2014).
Illinois Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of defamation claims against former officer of large non-profit organization, relying upon the substantial truth of the statements made, innocent construction, opinion, and qualified privilege. Coghlan v. Beck et al., 2013 IL App (1st) 120891.
Court granted motion to reconsider and dismissed all claims against client alleging civil rights violations pursuant to Title VI, Section 1981, and state law, relying upon attenuated relationship between the defendant and plaintiffs to hold that the Court lacked jurisdiction over the defendant. Irving v. Chinese Christian Union Church, et al., No. 12-cv-8092 (N.D. Ill. 2013).