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Reese v. Newman

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

February 11, 2016

C. ALLISON DEFOE REESE, APPELLANT,
v.
NICOLE A. NEWMAN, et al., APPELLEES

         Argued January 11, 2016

Page 881

          Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CAB-4760-12). (Hon. Judith Bartnoff, Trial Judge).

         Eden Brown Gaines for appellant.

         Wendell C. Robinson for appellee.

         Before FISHER, Associate Judge, MCLEESE, Associate Judge, and KING, Senior Judge.

Page 882

         JUDGMENT

         This case came to be heard on the transcript of record, the briefs filed, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, and as set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

         ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the judgment on appeal is affirmed.

          OPINION

         Warren R. King, Senior Judge

         Appellant, C. Allison Defoe Reese, and appellee, Nicole Newman, were co-owners of ANR Construction Management, LLC (" ANR" ). Following disputes over management of the company, Newman notified Reese in writing that she intended to withdraw from, dissolve, and wind-up the LLC. Reese did not want to dissolve the LLC but preferred that Newman simply be dissociated so that Reese could continue the business herself. Newman filed an action for judicial dissolution in the Superior Court along with a number of other claims. Reese filed a counterclaim for Newman's dissociation in addition to other claims. Following a jury trial, the jury awarded Newman $19,000 on her conversion claim, and found grounds for both judicial dissolution and forced dissociation of Newman; the court, thereafter, ordered judicial dissolution of the LLC. All other claims by the parties were rejected. Reese appeals from a judgment entered on the jury verdicts, and the trial court's order of dissolution.[1] We affirm.

         I. Facts

         On June 4, 2012, Newman filed a complaint in Superior Court alleging breach of contract against her business partner, Reese, with whom she founded ANR Construction Management in 2006. Newman claimed that she and Reese had begun experiencing substantial differences in regards to the business which prompted her to issue to Reese a " NOTICE OF INTENT TO WITHDRAW FROM PARTNERSHIP, DISSOLVE, AND WIND-UP BUSINESS" on May 9, 2012.[2] Newman alleged that very shortly after she delivered her notice, Reese locked Newman out of the LLC's bank accounts, blocked her remote access to the LLC's files and email, and ended her salary and health benefits. Newman asked the court to enjoin Reese from any further action intended to dissociate Newman from the LLC, and for $500,000 in damages.[3]

         On September 9, 2012, Newman filed a First Amended ...


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