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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Corporate Provisional Directors

Corporate litigation and disputes can often lead to unintended consequences. Section 351.323, RSMo discusses a scenario in which the court may appoint a third-party provisional director of a corporation when there is an (a) even number of directors who are equally divided so that business can no longer be conducted and/or (b) when there is […]

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Frivolous Appeals, Damages

People experience a wide range of emotions when they’re a party to a lawsuit, particularly when they have never been part to a suit before. Inevitably, certain individuals will want to counter-sue the other party for what they perceive to be frivolous factual or legal positions taken in a given case. In certain circumstances, a […]

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Material Breach of Contract, Rescission

In breach of contract litigation, the usual remedy is that the breaching party must pay money damages on account of the breach. In some cases, however, a breach may result in an outright cancellation (i.e, rescission) of the contract as if it never occurred. Rescission for breach of contract is available where a material breach […]

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Special Skills/Expertise of a Trustee

A trustee owes an array of fiduciary duties to trust beneficiaries. The nature and extent of these duties can potentially be enlarged if the trustee possesses special skills or expertise. Under Section 456.8-806, RSMo, “[a] trustee who has special skills or expertise, or is named trustee in reliance upon the trustee’s representation that the trustee […]

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Trust Opportunities, Trustee Breach of Loyalty

Corporate directors/officers and trustees are similar in that they are both fiduciaries and owe others (i.e., shareholders or beneficiaries, respectively) a duty of loyalty. As part of the duty of loyalty, the “corporate opportunity doctrine” forbids a corporate director from acquiring for his or her own benefit an opportunity that would have been valuable and […]

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Ambiguous Trusts, Parol Evidence

In interpreting trust documents, you are generally restricted to reviewing only the language and terms of the trust. Indeed, “[a]bsent any ambiguity in the terms of the trust, the intent of the [trust-maker] must be determined from the four corners of the instrument without resort to parol evidence as to the intention.”┬áKempton v. Dugan, 224 […]

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Amending a Petition/Lawsuit

In Missouri, a “Petition” is the lawsuit filed by a plaintiff requesting relief against a defendant (often in the form of money damages). It is called a “Complaint” in federal court, but they’re functionally the same thing. It is quite common for a petition to be amended to account for facts uncovered in discovery or […]

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Purpose of Maintenance/Alimony in Divorce

Maintenance (f/k/a as alimony) consists of payments made from one ex-spouse to the other ex-spouse after the marriage has ended. It is founded on the need for reasonable support by one spouse after the end of the marriage, and a maintenance award may extend only so long as the need exists.┬áCates v. Cates, 819 S.W.2d […]

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