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Guarantees: Interpretation, Breach

Personal guarantees or guarantees by another business are commonly required by lenders to provide additional safeguards for a loan.  In litigation, the same rules that apply to contract interpretation apply to guaranty interpretation. Royal Banks of Mo v. Fridkin, 819 S.W.2d 359, 361 (Mo. 1991). Specifically, the language of the guaranty is to be understood in […]

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Trust Protector: Powers, Duties, Limitations

An increasingly common technique used in trusts is to designate a trust protector. A trust protector is different than the settlor, trustee and beneficiary. Because the trust protector concept is relatively new, there has been uncertainty regarding the trust protector’s authority in trust administration, litigation and breach of trust suits. To address this uncertainty, Missouri […]

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Escrow Agreements, Breach of Escrow

Escrow is a term generally used in the context of real estate transactions. A conditional delivery, or delivery in “escrow,” means that delivery is conditioned upon the performance of some act or the occurrence of some event. Hammack v. Coffelt Land Title Inc., 348 S.W.3d 75, 81 (Mo. Ct. App. 2011). It is the same […]

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Public Duty Doctrine, Negligence

To prevail on a negligence claim, a plaintiff needs to plead that a defendant owed the plaintiff a (1) duty, the (2) defendant breached the duty, and the (3) defendant caused the plaintiff harm/damages. The public duty doctrine usually protects a public officer from negligence claims. Benson v. Kansas City, Bd. of Police Com’rs, 366 […]

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Simple versus Compound Interest on Judgments

In Missouri, Section 408.020, RSMo requires that nine-percent (9%) annual interest typically accrues on monetary judgments. Missouri statutes, however, do not specify whether the interest is simple or compound. Based on case precedent, compound interest is generally not allowable on a judgment. Wallemann v. Wallemann, 817 S.W.2d 548, 549 (Mo. Ct. App. 1991). There are two […]

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Contracts: Condition Precedent

Contractual conditions precedent are not favored in Missouri law but sometimes rear their ugly head in a breach of contract dispute. A condition precedent is a condition that must be fulfilled before the duty to perform an existing contract arises. Bucheit v. Cape Toyota-Suzuki, Inc. 903 S.W.2d 644, 646 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995). Courts will interpret […]

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