Legal Articles

Reasonable Reliance: Fraud and Intentional Misrepresentation

Fraud has nine (9) elements. A plaintiff’s failure to establish any of these elements is fatal to the claim. Heberer v. Shell Oil Co., 744 S.W.2d 441, 443 (Mo. 1988). Reliance is one of the nine elements of fraud, and thus a plaintiff cannot prevail on a fraud claim unless he or she proves that…

Corporate Liability, Personal Liability on Personal Guaranty Agreements

Many times a lender or creditor will enter into a contract with a corporation or business entity and request that the signer or owner of the business personally guaranty all amounts due. There is a very specific legal way this should be done for the guaranty to be enforceable. When weighing whether a signatory intended…

Contract Damages, Appeal

An appellate court in Missouri will only reverse a judgment that awards breach of contract damages if there are no facts in that present a “rational basis for a rational estimate of damages.” Gilham v. LaRue Constr., 136 S.W.3d 852, 856 (Mo. Ct. App. 2004). Typically, the objective in awarding contract damages is to put…

Consideration, Contractual Illegality

A valid contract requires consideration. Consideration “may consist of some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, loss of responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other.” Charles F. Curry and Company v. Hedrick, 378 S.W.2d 522, 522 (Mo. 1964). Any contract premised upon a violation of law or illegality…

Witness Competence/Capacity to Testify

Though not as common as a case challenging someone’s capacity (e.g., guardianship, capacity to sign a will/trust/contract), pretty much any type of case in litigation can involve a question over the capacity of a witness to testify in court under oath. Missouri presumes that a witness may competently testify, except a number of statutory exceptions…

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