A sued B to recover damages for B’s failure to comply with the terms of a contract between them.
A sued B to recover damages for B’s failure to comply with the terms of a contract between them. B defended by claiming that he had not reached majority as of the date on which the contract was signed and, in any event, that the contract was procured by A through fraud. After a trial without a jury, judgment is for B, the court finding that B had not reached majority and that A had procured the contract through fraud. If B later sues A for damages resulting from A’s fraud (and there is no compulsory counterclaim rule), in a jurisdiction that adheres to the Restatement Second of Judgments, may B use issue preclusion against A on the question of A’s fraud?
A. Yes, if the record of the initial proceeding established that the trial court fully and fairly considered and decided the question of A’s fraud.
B. No. An issue decided defensively may not be used offensively.
C. Yes, if an appeal was taken and the appellate court affirmed on both grounds.
D. No. Alternative findings are not binding under any circumstances.
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