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During a jury trial concerning a contract purportedly with a…

During a jury trial concerning...
During a jury trial concerning a contract purportedly with a LLC. The contract did not reference an LLC as the Seller. I questioned the plaintiff if he was a member, managing member, how many members the LLC had, etc. Opposing counsel objected to all and the court sustained. I testified I had no idea the plaintiff was an LLC, and was then asked when I first became aware the plaintiff was an LLC, which opposing counsel objected to and the court sustained. At one point, when opposing counsel objected to a question, I stated my rebuttal and the judge told me I am not to talk. Would this be an issue of error on appeal because I was prejudiced and could not defend my case?
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
12/18/2017
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34,389
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Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

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Please allow me several minutes to read your facts and type my response both initially and when you add a follow up question or add facts. Please don't ask "are you there", "where is my answer", etc., since when you post it can erase what I am working on. If we are having a conversation unless I tell you I am going offline, I will be here but I may be doing research.

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It could be, but it isn't automatically.

The issue here is whether your questions were made properly, whether they were relevant, and the exact wording which was used.

If you are going to appeal anyway it doesn't hurt to stick these into the appeal brief but rarely does a case get reversed just because a court didn't allow you to go into one point unless the answers to that one point would have made a difference in the case.

If you were representing yourself pro se and haven't been through any type of evidence class then there is a reasonable chance that your phrasing of the questions was improper. If so, the COA isn't going to reverse.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a 5 Star Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions in this thread. I want to be sure all of your questions are answered.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Here are my questions and rebuttal to the objection. I left persons and company names intentionally blank:
1. How many members are in the Limited Liability Company of __________?
Objection.
Sustained.2. Are you the managing member?
Objection to relevance.
Your Honor, the relevance is -- was Mr. _____ a managing member of a limited liability company, therefore, authorized to
act on behalf of the corporation. It is highly relevant.
Sustained.
Aren't the above questions relevant in a contract dispute case where my counterclaim states the affirmative defense plaintiff lacks standing?

I think #1 could go either way. I don't see the relevance but then I don't know what evidence had been introduced at trial until that point.

I would think #2 would be relevant. However, you are assuming that the managing member has authority to act on behalf of the LLC (an LLC is not a corporation) .

That would only be relevant if you have raised the issue of standing in your pleadings.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I did raise Plaintiff lacks standing as an affirmative defense in my pleadings. Please explain your response "However, you are assuming that the managing member has authority to act on behalf of the LLC."

The way your question/response was worded. A better way to ask Question 2 would have been a series like this:

1) You are a member of the LLC, correct?

2) Are you the member who is in charge of the majority of management decision?

3) Are you authorized to hire lawyers and bring a lawsuit on behalf of the LLC?

4) Is there anything you are not authorized to do on behalf of the LLC?

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If you had the lack of standing as a defense in your pleadings then you should have been allowed to explore anything relevant to that issue.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Wis Stat. §(###) ###-####Authority to sue on behalf of limited liability company mandates:
(3) In an action brought on behalf of a limited liability company, the complaint shall describe with particularity the authorization of the member to bring the action and the determination of the authorization.The complaint did not contain the above mandate. I was headed in that direction with my questions. Would then the court sustaining the objection and not allowing this line of questioning be error on appeal?

It could be. Many times things that should be error will either not be error because of other issues in the pleadings or evidence. The court can also find that it is error but it is "harmless error" which happens more than most people would think. I don't believe there is harmless error in an appeal where the rules weren't followed because you never know what would have made a difference, particularly in a jury trial.

It is enough error where you should address it in the appeal and at least see how the other side responds and then file a response to their response.

Appellate courts are even harder to read than trial courts because they may be looking at another case coming up the line or that is in the court above them and they may rule based on what they intend to rule on the other case or what they expect the higher court to rule on the case going to them.

But try all your arguments, you never know what a judge will seize on. I once had a case on appeal where the judges ruled on a point neither I nor the other attorney had raised or believed was really a point. We still have no idea why they did that.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a 5 Star Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions in this thread. I want to be sure all of your questions are answered.

Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
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Satisfied Customers: 34,389
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
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Thank you very much for allowing me to assist you. While the answers I give can't always be "good news", since the law can't always be favorable to everyone, I do strive to be as accurate as possible and to answer any follow up questions to the best of my ability.

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