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Legal Articles

Specific Performance, Contract Tender

In breach of contract suits, a plaintiff may, if appropriate, elect for an equitable remedy and ask the court to order specific performance. Specific performance is basically where a plaintiff requests that the Court order a defendant to perform the contract, in contrast to a request for damages for breaching the contract. Specific performance is […]

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Unpaid Commissions

Missouri has specific statutes relating to claims for unpaid commissions. Under Section 407.913, RSMo: Any principal who fails to timely pay the sales representative commissions earned by such sales representative shall be liable to the sales representative in a civil action for the actual damages sustained by the sales representative and an additional amount as […]

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Dead Man’s Statute

Section 491.010, RSMo contains Missouri’s version of the so-called “Dead Man’s Statute.” It provides, in relevant part, that “in any…suit…where one of the parties…or his agent…is dead or is shown to be incompetent…then any relevant statement or statements made by the decedent party or agent or by the incompetent prior to his incompetency, shall not […]

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Trustee: Personal Liability

In breach of trust and/or breach of fiduciary suits, whether a trustee is personally liable often comes up. Section 456.10-1010, RSMo provides some points of clarification on the matter: (1) Unless provided otherwise in a contract, a trustee is not personally liable on a contract if the trustee discloses the trustee/fiduciary capacity in the contract. […]

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Substantial Evidence

“Substantial evidence” is a legal requirement that comes up in certain circumstances, particularly when appealing a case or when arguing over a motion for directed verdict. Substantial evidence exists when there is believable, credible evidence that has “probative force on each fact that is necessary to sustain” a judgment. Ivie v. Smith, 439 S.W.3d 189, […]

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Trust Contests: Clear and Convincing Evidence

It is generally difficult to prevail on a lawsuit to set aside and void a trust or will. “Wills are solemn acts” and “should be overturned only on proper and substantial evidence.” Switzer v. Switzer, 373 S.W.2d 930, 940 (Mo. 1964).  The evidence to justify cancellation of a will or trust on grounds of incapacity […]

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Transferring Assets to a Trust

Assets are typically only subject to the terms of a trust — and within the trustee’s control and authority — if they are owned by the trust. Assets need to be transferred to a trust in a legally precise way for the transfer to be effective. For instance, an actual deed conveying ownership must be […]

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Justiciability, Mootness

A court can only entertain a case if there is “justiciability.” A justiciable controversy exists where the (1) plaintiff has a legally protectable interest at stake, (2) a substantial controversy exists between parties with genuinely adverse interests, and (3) the controversy is ripe for judicial determination. Mo. Health Care Ass’n v. Attorney Gen. of Mo., […]

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Promissory Note Enforcement

Promissory notes are a common legal instrument used in connection with the lending and borrowing of money. They are typically “black and white” cases when it comes to enforcement when there is a breach. To make a prima facie case on breach of promissory note, there needs to be a showing that the (1) maker(s) […]

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Real Party in Interest, Assignment

A “real party in interest” is one who possesses the legal right to bring a suit and not necessarily the person who benefits from the legal recovery. Asumus v. Capital Region Family Practice, 115 S.W.3d 427, 436 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003). The “real party in interest rules”generally exist to include include all beneficially interested parties. […]

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