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Legal Articles

Abandonment: Real & Personal Property

In suits involving real or personal property — e.g., conversion, replevin, quiet title, etc. — abandonment is sometimes utilzied as an affirmative defense against the person invoking property rights. In other words, a defendant will use it to say that a plaintiff cannot make a claim relating to the property because the plaintiff previously abandoned […]

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Negligent Entrustment of Personal Property

If you entrust someone with personal property, and he or she injures someone with or when using the personal property, you may be liable to the injured party for “negligent entrustment.” In Missouri, the elements of negligent entrustment are: (1) the entrustee was incompetent by reason of age, inexperience, habitual recklessness or otherwise; (2) the entrustor knew […]

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Active Procurement: Undue Influence in Estate Litigation, Challenges

Undue influence is a common legal claim used in probate litigation to set aside, void or challenge a will, trust, deed or non-probate transfer. It is when the influencer substitutes his or her will for the person who is signing the document. Because this is a vague claim, Missouri cases have set forth three elements […]

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Corporate Director/Officer, Limited Liability Company Manager Liability

Corporate officers and directors, as well as managers of limited liability companies (LLC), are generally protected from discretionary business decisions. Inevitably, when a suit is filed by a shareholder of a corporation or member of a LLC , the director, officer or manager will assert the business judgment rule as a defense to the lawsuit.  […]

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Estate Litigation; Time Limit to Appoint Personal Representative/Executor

Missouri’s probate code has two principal goals: (1) provide a speedy method for administering a decedent’s estate and (2) establish a time after which claims are forever barred against an estate. North v. Hawkinson, 324 S.W.2d 733, 736 (Mo. 1959). In furtherance of these objectives, Missouri rigidly applies a general one (1) year limitation period for […]

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Arbitration Waivers

Aribtration clauses are becoming increasingly common as a way to more expeditiously resolve disputes that can arise between parties to a contract. With an arbitration, a neutral, third-party arbitrator decides the case, as opposed to a judge or a jury. Many disputes can arise with respect to the enforceability of an arbitration provision (e.g., unconscionability, […]

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Lost Stock Certificates, Corporate Ownership

Stock certifciates are the legal documents which demonstrate that you own some or all of a corporation. While there is no technical requirement for how they are to appear, they often look similar to an automobile certificate of title. What happens when you lose them? How can you demonstrate and prove that you have an […]

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Bona Fide Purchasers, Ownership-Title Disputes

Property ownership disputes can be complex, particularly in the context of real estate. It is not uncommon for there to be an improper or defective conveyance of real estate that goes unnoticed, and then there are several subsequent transfers of the same property between different people. For this reason, it is important to record all […]

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Specific versus General Statute of Limitations

There is a general statute of limitations in Missouri stating that most claims must be brought within five (5) years. See Section 516.120, RSMo. Many times, however, it is not immediately obvious which limitations period will apply to a particular claim. For this reason, many will suggest that five years is a general rule of thumb to […]

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Civil Conspiracy, Corporations, Independent Personal Stakes

To make a claim for civil conspiracy in Missouri, you must show that there are (1) two or more persons, (2) an unlawful objective, (3) a meeting of the minds, (4) at least one act in furtherance of the conspiracy and (5) injury to Plaintiff. Phelps v. Bross, 73 S.W.3d 651, 657 (Mo. Ct. App. 2002). […]

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