Larry the Cable Guy and Chris Rock decided to go on a “laugh tour” together. They believed that with Larry’s redneck humor and Chris’ urban jokes, they could pack the venues with twice as many fans. They made millions of dollars. Soon thereafter, they split up as an act; however, Larry continued to use some of the material that was written by Chris. While they were a duo act, they had contractually agreed that if they ever broke up, they would not use each other’s material without payment. Larry has not paid Chris anything for the use of his comic material, so Chris is suing him in civil court for breach of contract and asking the court to award him $500,000 in unpaid fees for the use of his material. To notify Larry that he is a defendant in a breach of contract lawsuit, the court has twice attempted to serve a summons and complaint at Larry’s permanent residence. Because Larry frequently travels with his act, he was not found at home. The process server petitioned the court for alternative service and it was granted. Larry was thereby sent the complaint and summons by certified mail, and notification of the suit was also published for two weeks in the local newspaper. Larry knows he has been violating the contract with Chris, and that sooner-or-later he would be sued; therefore, he never accepts certified letters or reads the local paper. Needless to say, Larry never responded to the suit. After six months have elapsed, Chris motioned for a default judgment in his favor for $500,000 and court costs, and this motion was granted. Now Larry is appealing this default judgment because he was not properly notified of the suit against him. In your analysis, discuss whether you would you affirm or reverse the default judgment?
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