101 South Hanley, Suite 1280 Clayton, MO 63105
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Category: Civil Litigation, Real Estate

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)

Missouri, like most states, has laws prohibiting and/or creating liability for strategic lawsuits against public participation (“SLAPP”).  Under Missouri’s Anti-SLAPP statute in Section 537.528, RSMo, an action seeking money damages against a person for conduct or speech occurring in connection with a public hearing or meeting is subject to special motions to dismiss, for judgment […]

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Real Estate Valuation, Experts

Sometimes it is necessary in real estate disputes to provide the value of real estate. Obviously, opinions and values can vary wildly. The “fair market value” of real estate is generally what a “willing buyer would pay in cash to a willing seller.” Labrayere v. Bohr Farms, LLC, 458 S.W.3d 319, 330 (Mo. 2015). An […]

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Contractual Exculpatory Clauses

Sometimes a point of contention in breach of contract disputes, an exculpatory clause/provision in a contract is one which releases a person from his or her own future negligence. While these provisions are disfavored in Missouri, they are not per se void. Alack v. Vic Tanny Int’l of Missouri, Inc., 923 S.W.2d 330, 334 (Mo. […]

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Continuing Wrong Exception to Statute of Limitations

Failure to bring a claim within the applicable statute of limitations means that the claim is time-barred. The best lawsuit in the world cannot be brought out of time. The clock starts ticking on when to bring the claim when the cause of action has “accrued” — i.e., usually when the damages are reasonably ascertainable. […]

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Injunctive Relief

An injunction is an order from the court to refrain from certain conduct or to perform some certain act(s). It is a form of equitable relief. In contrast, legal relief usually comes in the form of money damages to compensate someone for an injury. Equitable relief is typically appropriate when monetary relief would be inadequate. […]

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Regulatory Taking, Eminent Domain, Real Property

Both the Missouri and US Constitutions prohibit the “taking” of private property without just compensation. A “taking” can occur in a variety of situations. It is not just when a government seizes possession of property. A “regulatory taking” occurs when a government regulation goes too far. Clay County ex rel. County Com’n v. Harley and […]

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Offer of Proof, Evidence

Trials require evidence by a party to establish his or her claims or defenses. Only admissible evidence is permitted. Admissible evidence must generally be relevant, legally and logically. “Logical relevance” is the tendency to “make the existence of a material fact more or less probable.” State v. Freeman, 269 S.W.3d 422, 426 (Mo. 2008). “Legal […]

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Medical Testimony, Experts

Depending on the nature of the case (e.g., medical malpractice, trust/will challenges for lack of capacity or undue influence, etc.), medical testimony is often crucial. The qualification of a physician as an expert is generally within the trial court’s substantial discretion. Ponciroli v. Wyrick, 573 S.W.2d 731, 735 (Mo.Ct.App.1978). Generally, a practicing physician, even when […]

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Best Evidence Rule, Original Documentation

The best evidence rule generally requires that only original documentation may be admitted as evidence at trial to show the terms of the document/writing. A duplicate is not admissible under the best evidence rule. Interstate Distrib., Inc. v. Freeman, 904 S.W.2d 481,, 484 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995). It is a narrow rule and only applies […]

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Law of the Case Doctrine, Re-litigation

There are numerous legal theories and arguments which prohibit the re-litigation of certain issues that were previously decided (e.g, collateral estoppel, res judicata). One such theory — the “law-of-the-case doctrine” — dictates that a previous holding or finding in a case constitutes the law of the case and precludes re-litigation of the issue on remand […]

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