A judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit that DJ MK filed against his former management company in which he alleged they wrongfully withheld more than $1.5 million in commissions due under a contract.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield said he was taking the action after lawyers for MK, whose real name is Marc Kinchen, failed to show up for four straight status conferences dating back to 2021 in his case against MDM Artists.
Although defense attorney Mark Passin argued in favor of tossing the complaint “with prejudice,” which would have prevented DJ MK from bringing the case again, the judge declined to take such a harsh measure.
“If they feel they have some grounds to reinstate it they’re going to have to take some action,” Kleifield said.
Passin said there was no reason the parties could not finalize a settlement given that separate actions involving the parties — one before the state Labor Commissioner and a second filed by MDM against DJ MK in New York state — were previously dismissed.
“They don’t pay attention to this case,” Passin said.
MK’s primary attorney is Mathew Rosengart, who is better known for winning the 2021 termination of the Britney Spears conservatorship imposed on the singer in 2008.
MK is Will Smith’s former in-house producer and has worked for Celine Dion, Rihanna, Diplo, Mary J. Blige, Pitbull and Lana Del Rey. He sued MDM Artists Inc. and its principals, Marci Weber and Mark Davenport, in July 2020, alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud and unfair business practices, and said the defendants put their interests ahead of those of the plaintiff.
MK alleged he was intentionally misled about the terms of his management agreement with MDM Artists, saying they effectively coerced him into signing it during a surprise meeting at an airport in January 2015, the morning after a late night/early morning concert without giving him the chance to have an attorney review it.
“Davenport foisted a 12-page document on MK at an airport after MK had performed all night, told him he had to sign immediately and lied about its contents,” the suit stated.
Contrary to Davenport’s alleged misrepresentations at the airport, the provisions of the initial agreement and the purported management agreement were not the same, according to the suit, which sought $1.5 million allegedly owed MK, as well as both compensatory and punitive damages.
In his court papers, Passin said MK “repudiated a talent management agreement” between the parties after the defendants “revived his musical career and brought him to the brink of stardom.”