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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Personal Liability of Trustees: Contract & Tort

One of the perks of being a trustee is that the trustee is able to utilize trust assets for expenses to administer the trust. This means, among other things, that a trustee can use trust assets to hire professionals to aid in administration. Similarly, it is quite rare that a trustee is personally  responsible for […]

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Evidence of Value in Real Estate, Diminution in Value

Real estate litigation is often high stakes. Generally, and based on experience, the two most common types of real estate disputes pertain to (1) title/ownership disputes and (2) claims that a defendant’s conduct has damaged the value of real estate. For item (1), that usually comes in the form of a quiet title petition in which […]

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Permissive & Compulsory Intervention

Legally, intervention refers to the procedural process where a third-party to a lawsuit can interject itself into the suit as a party because it has an interest . Intervention may be permissive or as of right. Both are governed by Missouri Supreme Court Rule 52.12. Permissive intervention is provided for by Rule 52.12(b) and is available (1) when […]

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Contracts: Options & Rights of First Refusal

Often times the more complex an agreement or business transaction becomes the more technical the legal language becomes. Among other things, options and rights of first refusal are often utilized in more sophisticated transactions and can cause confuse in litigation.  Strictly speaking, an option “creates in the [option holder] a power to compel the owner of property […]

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Punitive Damages with Equitable Relief, Legal Damages

Punitive damages (aka exemplary damages) are “imposed for the purpose of punishment and deterrence.” State ex rel. Smith v. Greene, 494 S.W.2d 55, 60 (Mo. 1973). Courts have consistently observed that punitive damages are a harsh remedy and should be applied sparingly. As such,  proof of clear and convincing evidence is required to merit an award […]

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Exculpatory Trustee Clauses

Being a trustee is a difficult job. The trustee owes a litany of fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries, but the beneficiaries do not have any similar duties to the trustee. It is a one way street. The job is made all the more difficult depending on the terms of a particular trust instrument. To make […]

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