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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Probate: MO HealthNet Waiver

One of the main purposes of the probate estate administration process is to clear all of the decedent’s financial liabilities. This includes paying off any outstanding credit cards, taxes, bills, etc. As a general rule of thumb, these liabilities can only be recovered from the decedent’s estate. They typically do not pass on to any […]

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Prevailing Party Attorney Fees in the Merchandising Practices Act (“MPA”)

The MPA is an extraordinarily broad statute intended to protect consumers. It  loosens the rigid requirements for traditional common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, product liability claims, etc. To further its objectives, the MPA statutorily authorizes reasonable attorney fees to a “prevailing party” in MPA litigation. “Missouri has adopted the American Rule; that is, absent statutory […]

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Real Estate Liens: Circuit Court, Associate Circuit Court, Small Claims

Collecting is often times the entire battle. Even if you obtain a monetary judgment in your favor in Missouri, it can still be an incredibly lengthy process to collect any money. Liens on real estate are often the best way to execute on a judgment. To be clear, a judgment is simply a formal order […]

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Insurance Agents, Brokers: Fiduciary Duties

With respect to fiduciary duties, the law treats insurance agents and insurance brokers differently. By insurance agent, I mean an individual who works directly for the insurance company. By insurance broker, I mean an individual who doesn’t work for the insurance company but sells, solicits, and/or negotiates insurance on behalf of the insured with an insurance company. […]

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Probate Commissions, Self-Proving Wills

Missouri law requires that two (2) individuals witness the execution of a will by a testator in order for it to be valid. Anybody who is an adult and of competent mental capacity may witness the will, but an interested witness may forfeit his/her share under the will. An “interested witness” generally refers to someone […]

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Lis Pendens & Real Estate

A lis pendens (“suit pending”) is a document which notifies everyone that there is a lawsuit pending regarding a given piece of real estate. The basis for a lis pendens in Missouri is codified in Missouri Statutes. Section 527.260 provides in pertinent part that: “In any civil action, based on any equitable right, claim or lien, affecting or […]

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Tollings the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to a certain time period during which a lawsuit must be brought. If a claim is not filed within the time period, then it is barred and cannot be pursued. Dismissing a petition (i.e., a lawsuit) on the grounds that it is not timely under the statute of limitations is […]

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Law of the Case, Relitigation

Factual and legal findings of a trial court are hard to overturn. At the trial level re-litigation of pre-determined factual and legal issues is generally impermissible. See Shahan v. Shahan, 988 S.W.2d 529, 533 (Mo. 1999) (the “law of the case” doctrine governs successive adjudications involving the same issues and facts); Oldaker v. Peters, 869 S.W.2d […]

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