Starrett v. Shepard

In Starrett v. Shepard, 606 P.2d 1247 (Wyo. 1980), the court considered whether to enter a default judgment against a corporation because "a non-lawyer corporate officer filed a motion to quash service of summons" on the corporation. Id. at 1253. After the corporate officer filed the motion to quash, the defendants, who were also third-party plaintiffs, moved to strike the motion and for a default judgment, claiming that the corporate officer was a non-lawyer. See id. Thereafter, an attorney appeared for the corporation and represented it throughout the case. See id. The trial court held that "the improper appearance of the corporation through a non-lawyer corporate officer was 'cured' by the subsequent proper appearance...through an attorney." Id. On appeal, the court affirmed. It reasoned, at 606 P.2d at 1253-54: "Pleadings filed and actions taken by a non-lawyer corporate officer in a legal action are subject to be stricken or held to be a nullity; and there may be cases in which entry of a default judgment against a corporation may be justified on the ground that the corporation was improperly represented in the action by a non-lawyer corporate officer, but such is not justified in a case such as this, wherein the representation was very limited. The record does not reflect that the representation was made with knowledge of its impropriety, it was followed within a reasonable time by proper representation through an attorney admitted to practice before the court, and the other party was not substantially prejudiced thereby."