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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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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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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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Lease Options for Renewal, Contracts

Lease contracts, whether they be residential or commercial, will often have an option provision where a tenant can automatically renew the lease-term for some period of time. Subject to the terms of the contract/lease, a tenant’s renewal must indicate a definite and unqualified determination to exercise the option. Behlman v. Weeks, 150 S.W.3d 153, 156 […]

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Contract Writings: Statute of Frauds Waiver

The Statute of Frauds requires that certain contracts be in writing to be enforceable or entertained. Generally, the Statute of Frauds in Missouri applies to (1) agreements not to be performed within a year, (2) contracts involving land, and (3) marriage. Section 432.010, RSMo. There are a few ways to circumvent the writing requirement, such […]

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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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Interference with Contract versus Interference with Business Relations

Tortious interference with a contract or business expectancy requires (1) a contract or valid business expectancy, (2) defendant’s knowledge of the contract or relationship, (3) a breach induced or caused by defendant’s intentional interference, (4) absence of justification and (5) damages. Bishop & Assocs., LLC v. Ameren Corp., 520 S.W.3d 463, 472 (Mo. 2017).  While not […]

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Contract Forum Selection Clauses

A forum selection clause in a contract refers to language which requires that when there is a dispute or litigation relating to the contract that it be resolved or litigated in a certain state, county or other “forum.” These clauses are not always upheld by the Courts. Furthermore, there is sometimes uncertainty that arises when there […]

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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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