Can a managing member speak for their LLC in court?
Question Details: I have a friend that owns a LLC. She was sued by someone and instructed to appear in court to represent the llc by the way. She was unable to appear in court and "appeared" over the phone not sure if that makes a difference. After the opposing council said their piece she began to say her piece and the judge instructed her to stop talking and that she "could not speak on behalf of the LLC". The judge also cited some statute but I don't have that right now. I will find out what it is later when I see her in person. Is there a statute that can keep the LLC representative from speaking for it? How are you supposed to defend the LLC that clearly can not speak for itself?
It's not that she cannot "speak for" the LLC, but it's that she cannot represent it in court. A non-lawyer (I presume your friend is not an attorney) cannot represent *any* person other than herself in court. An LLC, however, is a separate legal person: that is the basis for the "limited liability," or liability protection, conferred on its members (owners) by an LLC. (Because it is separate legal person, it is responsible for its own acts, and so the liability does not flow tothe owners/members.) Just as another human person would need a lawyer to represent him/her and could not be represented in court by your non-lawyer friend, the LLC needs a lawyer to represent it in court. So the LLC has to hire an attorney. Your friend, however, will make decisions for the LLC, testify for it in court, provide information for and about it, and in short, "speak, for it, etc.--it's just that she needs a lawyer for it, too.