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Legal Articles

Credible Evidence

It is difficult to overstate the significant of credible evidence in Court. Even if you have undisputed evidence, you can still lose on a claim if the judge or jury simply does not find it credible or believable. Therefore, there are two components to proving a claim or contention: (1) the burden to produce evidence and […]

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Unjust Enrichment Claims When a Contract Exists

To win on a claim for unjust enrichment, a plaintiff needs to demonstrate that (1) the defendant was enriched by the receipt of a benefit, (2) the enrichment was at the expense of the plaintiff and (3) that it would be unjust to allow the defendant to retain the benefit. Damon v. City of Kansas City, […]

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Fraud and Misrepresentation: Facts and Opinions

In most claims for fraud — whether it be intentional misrepresentation or negligent misrepresentation — a party claiming the fraud must prove that the other party intentionally or unintentionally provided false, factual information that was material. Statements of opinions are usually not actionable for fraud. When the car salesmen tells you that a particular vehicle […]

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Judicial Notice

To prove facts at trial, you need to typically present evidence or a stipulation as to certain facts. Evidence generally comes in the form of witness testimony and/or documentation. In some cases, the Court may take “judicial notice” of things that are “commonly known.” Mince v. Mince, 481 S.W.3d 610 (Mo. Ct. App. 1972). For instance, […]

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Aggravating Circumstances for Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are generally only permissible in cases where the defendant committed an intentional wrongdoing. This is the case because the law is more inclined to penalize and punish willful and wanton conduct, as opposed to accidental or inadvertent conduct. Punitive damages may, however, be obtained from a jury in negligence cases if there are […]

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Cumulative Evidence

For something to be admissible as evidence, it must be legally relevant. To be “legally relevant,” its probative value or usefulness must not be outweighed by its costs, including the dangers of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, waste of time, or the needless presentation of cumulative evidence. Kroeger-Eberhart v. Eberhart, […]

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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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