Farmville Group LLC v. Shapiro Brown & Alt LLP

A non-lawyer former member of a dissolved limited liability company may not engage in litigation on behalf of the dissolved LLC. Only a lawyer may represent a dissolved LLC.

In this case, a non-lawyer signed and filed the complaint on the dissolved LLC’s behalf. Since the complaint was improperly signed and filed, the defendant’s demurrer is sustained without leave to amend

One may argue it is unfair to effectively compel an owner of a single-member LLC to hire an attorney to prosecute a claim belonging to the LLC. However, this is a public policy determination set forth in the rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Of course, one need not organize his business as an LLC. There is no requirement sole proprietors use lawyers to represent their enterprises. However, under current law, businesspeople forgo the ability to bring legal action pro se to protect their business interests in exchange for benefits, such as limited liability, conferred to them by the formation of an LLC.

Case dismissed.

Farmville Group LLC v. Shapiro Brown & Alt LLP, No. CL13-11270, Jan. 23, 2019. Fairfax (Oblon).

Categories: Opinions, Virginia Circuit Courts

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