Legal Articles

Daubert Challenges

A “Daubert Challenge” generally means a request to exclude a potential expert’s testimony. In most courts, an expert is one who possesses knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education and testifies in the form of an opinion about scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge. There are five important considerations. First, the evidence must be scientific, technical,…

Real Party in Interest

Missouri Civil Procedure Rule 52.01 requires that “every civil action shall be prosecuted by the real party in interest.” But who or what is a “real party in interest”? The real party in interest is a party having a “justiciable interest susceptible of protection through litigation.” Perkinson v. v. Burford, 623 S.W.2d 30, 34 (Mo….


Sounding similar to “comedy,” comity comes up when there are multiple similar lawsuits pending. In an intrastate context, there are specific rules, like ademption or the pending action doctrine, which deal with how successive, similar lawsuits may be addressed. Comity, however, usually comes up in an interstate context. Comity is where one state court defers…

Unfair Prejudice, Evidence

Evidence is inadmissible if it is “unfairly prejudicial.” Stated differently, if the “prejudicial effect substantially outweighs the probative value, the evidence is unfairly prejudicial…and must be excluded.” Shallow v. Follwell, 554 S.W.3d 878, 885 (Mo. 2018). When is evidence “prejudicial”? “Evidence is prejudicial if it tends to lead the jury to decide the case on some basis…

Avoidances: Affirmative Defense to an Affirmative Defense

In civil litigation, defendants often plead affirmative defenses. An affirmative defenses is an additional fact which, if true, defeats a plaintiff’s claim. For example, the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense. A plaintiff may allege, then, that because plaintiff’s claim is untimely the lawsuit fails. The most meritorious claim in the world will be…

Statutory Interpretation Canons

When interpreting statutes, Courts follow certain rules or cannons of construction. Generally, the rule is to give effect to legislative intent as reflected in the plain language of the statute at issue. Parktown Imports, Inc. v. Audi of Am., Inc., 278 S.W.3d 670, 672 (Mo. 2009).  There are “fancier” rules of interpretation depending on the situation….

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