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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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Breach of Contract Damages: Future Lost Profits

A plaintiff needs to show damages to prevail on a breach of contract claim. In many contracts, and often in business contracts, future lost profits will wholly or partially form the basis of a damages request. To obtain lost profits, a plaintiff needs to prove the facts of damages with reasonable certainty and provide an […]

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Contract Liability and Tort Liability

When there is a contract in play, often times there is confusion when a plaintiff is making a claim whether the claim is for breach of contract or for tort liability. Sometimes a plaintiff will assert both contract liability and tort liability (e.g., fraud, negligence) for failure to perform contract provisions. This is usually impermissible.  […]

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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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Contractual Consideration

The three basic components of a contract are offer, acceptance and consideration. When these things exist can change depending on the nature of the parties (e.g., UCC, merchants). While the concepts of offer and acceptance are relatively straightforward to a non-lawyer, consideration is often not. Consideration is either a promise (to do or refrain from […]

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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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Option Rights and Preemptive Rights in Contracts

Contracts can have option rights or preemptive rights. An option, in the context of real estate, usually gives a person a power to compel the owner of the property to sell it at a stipulated price whether or not he or she is willing to part with ownership. Anderson v. Parker, 351 S.W.3d 82, 831 […]

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Breach of Contract: Specific Performance Versus Damages

When a breach of contract occurs, the general rule is that, in certain cases, the remedy is either a suit for damages or a suit for specific performance of the contract. Magruder v. Pauley, 411 S.W.3d 323, 331 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013). The suit for damages would provide the non-breaching party with money, whereas the […]

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Breach of Contract Cures, Contract Termination

Contracts will often include “cure” provisions to prevent a party from immediately canceling or terminating a contract in the event of breach. Moreover, as is the case with more complex or lengthy contracts, a “cure” provision allows a party to correct an inadvertent breach of contract.  A cure clause usually states that the non-breaching party […]

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Substantial Performance, Contract Litigation

The traditional rule regarding contracts is that all parties must follow the terms of the contract or agreement precisely. In certain occasions, though, a party may “substantially perfrom” under a contract without being liable for breach of contract.  In the absence of an express provision in a contract requiring precise, literal compliance, substantial compliance of […]

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