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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).  Whie 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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Forum Selection Clauses, Personal Jurisdiction

Personal jurisdiction is the authority of a court to render a judgment or decision about an individual or entity. For personal jurisdiction to exist, there must generally be some connection between a party and the state or forum rendering the judgment or decision. In may contracts or agreements, there are provisions designating where litigation must occur […]

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Requests to Enforce/Compel Settlement

Most lawsuits are resolved without a trial. Cases usually either settle or result in a judgment/dismissal before a contested trial. With cases that result in a settlement, there are often communications between attorneys leading up to the execution of a more formal settlement agreement. There are instances in which an agreement is reached and then one […]

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Letters of Intent, Term Sheets, Contracts

Letters of intent and preliminary term sheets are often some of the first documents signed in business transactions or in anticipation of a more formal contract. If a deal falls through after a letter of intent and/or term sheet are signed, what is the legal effect of those documents? Are they binding contracts which require you […]

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Demand Notes and Installment Notes

Promissory notes are legal documents whereby the maker of a note promises to pay a certain amount of money to a payee. In Missouri, promissory notes are interpreted consistent with contract law. Every promissory note will contain repayment terms and usually include interest that accrues. Generally, payments are set on fixed dates or on the […]

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Contract Litigation: Silence as Acceptance

A contract is only enforceable if there is mutual assent and consideration. Meco Systems v. Dancing Bear Entm’t, 42 S.W.3d 794, 803 (Mo. Ct. App. 2001). With respect to mutual assent, courts look to the “objective manifestations of intent” to determine whether there was a “meeting of the minds.” Don King Equipment Co. v. Double D Tractor […]

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Defenses to Arbitration Clauses in Contracts

Because of the time and costs associated with litigation, arbitration provisions are often included in contracts to avoid the court system. In an arbitration, an individual or group of individuals make a binding decisions about the dispute. The normal trial rules, due process protections and procedural guarantees that are present in a court or jury […]

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Civil Conspiracy Claims

Civil conspiracies may exist in civil cases for money damages or equitable relief (e.g., breach of contract and tort claims such a breach of fiduciary duty). While civil conspiracy has its own separate elements, it is not a distinct  cause of action. Breeden v. Hueser, 273 S.W.3d 1, 13 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008). It functions to […]

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