Boller v. Cofrances

Supreme Court of Wisconsin

166 N.W.2d 129 (Wis. 1969)

The scope of cross examination is not limited to only matters raised on direct examination.

Relevant Facts

Virginia Boller (the plaintiff) sued Cofrances (the defendant) for the loss of her husband, who was killed in a car accident with a female passenger. The plaintiff argued that the defendant caused the accident, and the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s husband was contributorily negligent. At trial, the plaintiff testified, on direct, that she and her husband were happily married. On cross, the defendant’s counsel asked the plaintiff if she knew of her husband's affair with the female passenger. The judge struck the question and instructed the jury to disregard it because it raised matters not addressed on direct. The plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, arguing that despite the judge's actions, the opposing lawyer's question unfairly prejudiced the jury.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 29, 2020

Judicial Opinion

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Procedural History

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Citations

166 N.W.2d 129 (Wis. 1969)