The statute of frauds requires that certain contracts be in a signed writing to be enforceable against a party. When the statute does apply to a particular contract, there may be a number of applicable substantive exceptions if suit is filed. If one is not careful, the protections afforded by the statute may also be waived by failing to take the proper procedural steps.
By way of example, the statute of frauds should be pled as an affirmative defense in an answer to breach of an oral contract. Failure to plead it as an affirmative defense results in waiver of the defense. Further, even if it is properly pled, “failure to object to offered evidence [at trial] of the oral agreement constitute[s] a waiver of the protection of the statute.” Crawford v. Detring, 965 S.W.2d 188, 192 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998); Norden v. Friedman, 756 S.W.2d 158, 162 (Mo. 1988) (“failure to raise his statute of frauds defense in the pleadings or at trial by objecting to testimony regarding the oral contract constitutes a waiver”).
Contact regarding contracts, breach of contract litigation, the statute of frauds and/or other business disputes.