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Category: Business, Corporate

Cross-Examination, Credibility, Impeachment

Credibility is always critical at trial. If a judge or jury does not find you credible, then they do not have to believe your testimony or claims. For this reason, the credibility of a witness is always relevant in a lawsuit. Mitchell v. Kardesch, 313 S.W.3d 667, 675 (Mo. 2010). After a witness testifies on […]

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Contract Penalty Provisions and Clauses

Liquidated damage clauses in contracts are enforceable, while penalty clauses are not. Paragon Group, Inc. v. Ampleman, 878 S.W.2d 878, 880 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994). The reason for this is that the policy behind remedies in the event of a breach of contract is to effect compensation, not a penalty. Luna v. Smith, 861 S.W.2d […]

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Partnership Property, Creditors

One of the benefits of a limited partnership is to protect against liabilities. A partner’s individual creditors cannot attach or encumber partnership property to satisfy a partner’s individual debt. Section 358.250, RSMo; Anchor Centre Partners, Ltd. v. Mercantile Bank, N.A., 803 S.W.23, 31 (Mo. 1991). This flows from a partner’s inability to assign his or […]

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Preserving a Motion for JNOV

A motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict (“JNOV”) is an after trial motion where a party asks the Court to overturn the jury’s verdict. The issue with a JNOV focuses on whether a plaintiff made a submissible case — that is, one which presents substantial evidence for every fact essential to liability. Payne v. Cornhusker […]

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Escrow Agreements, Breach of Escrow

Escrow is a term generally used in the context of real estate transactions. A conditional delivery, or delivery in “escrow,” means that delivery is conditioned upon the performance of some act or the occurrence of some event. Hammack v. Coffelt Land Title Inc., 348 S.W.3d 75, 81 (Mo. Ct. App. 2011). It is the same […]

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Lease Options for Renewal, Contracts

Lease contracts, whether they be residential or commercial, will often have an option provision where a tenant can automatically renew the lease-term for some period of time. Subject to the terms of the contract/lease, a tenant’s renewal must indicate a definite and unqualified determination to exercise the option. Behlman v. Weeks, 150 S.W.3d 153, 156 […]

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Not Supported by Substantial Evidence, Against the Weight of the Evidence

When appealing a trial decided by a judge (as opposed to a jury), an appeals court will usually only reverse the trial judge’s judgement if there is no substantial evidence to support it, it is against the weight of the evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the law. Murphy v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, […]

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Contract Writings: Statute of Frauds Waiver

The Statute of Frauds requires that certain contracts be in writing to be enforceable or entertained. Generally, the Statute of Frauds in Missouri applies to (1) agreements not to be performed within a year, (2) contracts involving land, and (3) marriage. Section 432.010, RSMo. There are a few ways to circumvent the writing requirement, such […]

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Implied License, Copyright

Often a point of contention in intellectual property disputes, particularly disputes and litigation relating to copyrights, is whether an implied license is a viable defense to a claim that you are impropery utilizing someone else’s property (e.g., copyright infringement). A license, very generally, is permission to use or own something. In the context of copyrights, […]

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Disqualification of Counsel, Attorney; Conflict of Interest

Attorneys have a duty of loyalty to their clients and must work in the client’s best interests. For this reason, it is obvious that an attorney cannot simultaneously represent both a plaintiff and a defendant in the same lawsuit. Things become much more murky when a lawyer represents a client in one matter and then […]

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