Life Plus International v. Brown

When can a witness to a contract breach be properly excluded at trial?


The Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court has significant discretion in managing evidence at trial, and properly ruled that the witness be excluded. Life Plus sued the Browns for breach of contract. Both Mr. and Mrs. Brown managed their own downline, but worked together on marketing and sales support to their distributors. Mr. Brown became a distributor of Pre-Paid legal services in violation of his distribution agreement with Life Plus. Life Plus terminated their agreements with both of the Browns because of the breach by Mr. Brown. The jury found that Life Plus improperly suspended Mrs. Brown's payments because she did not work with Pre-Paid legal, and did not solicit her downline to distribute its products, actions that her husband took. Life Plus claimed that they had located a witness to the contrary, but the trial court improperly excluded the witness as untimely. The Appellate Court agreed, concluding that trial courts have great discretion over the admissibility of evidence, and that even if allowed, the testimony of the witness would have had not discredited the claims of Mrs. Brown.

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Reference Info:Federal, 8th Circuit, Arkansas | United States

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