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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Credit Agreements/Contracts — Writing Requirement

The Missouri statute of frauds requires that certain contracts be in writing and signed by the party sought to be charged. Specifically, it requires that contracts for, among other things, an interest in real estate be in a signed writing. See 432.010, RSMo. This statute, however, is not the only statute requiring a writing. Sections 432.045 and […]

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Voluntary Payment Doctrine

Sometimes being kind and accommodating can sink you legally. In suits or controversies regarding whether money should be paid — e.g., breach of contract, creditor-debtor disputes, payments on account, etc. — the voluntary payment doctrine can nullify any claim you have in Court about whether the money should be paid or is even owed. Voluntary […]

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Dependent Relative Revocation: Will & Trust Interpretation

Interpreting wills, trusts and powers of attorney can be difficult, especially given the often old-fashioned, grandiose language such documents usually implement. Things can become even more complex when there are will/trust amendments/codicils. One of the more confusing legal doctrines that can apply when there are uncoordinated cancellations and/or amendments to a will is dependent relative […]

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Guardianship & Conservatorship: Least Restrictive Environment

Guardianship and conservatorship are orders made with respect to a minor or legally incapacitated person. Guardianship empowers a guardian to make decisions regarding the protectee’s person; conservatorship empowers a conservator to make decisions regarding the protectee’s finances. The general powers and duties of a guardian are enumerated in Section 475.120, which requires the guardian to […]

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Remittitur — Monetary Jury Verdicts

Remittitur refers to a Court’s ability to reduce the amount of a monetary jury verdict. The assessment of money damages is primarily the function of the jury. Scott v. Blue Springs Ford Sales, Inc., 215 S.W.3d 145, 180 (Mo. Ct. App. 2006). However, Courts can, in an exercise of remittitur, reduce the amount of a damages […]

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Missouri Declaratory Judgments, Automobile Titles

Declaratory Judgments aren’t always used in the context of written documents or real estate. As an example, it is often the case that the certificate of title to an automobile is clouded or is otherwise problematic. The previous owner may not have properly completed the documentation to assign title over to you. The vehicle identification […]

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Ademption

In wills and trusts, legacies are left either generally or specifically. As an example, a general bequest would simply state that an heir receives 1/3 of the value of the estate. A specific bequest, on the other hand, would state that a certain heir receives a certain automobile. With general bequests, there usually is no […]

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Expert Witness Testimony

Expert witnesses are sometimes required in trials to assist a judge/jury reach a conclusion. In civil actions, section 490.065, RSMo, controls the admission and exclusion of expert testimony in Missouri — if scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a […]

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