Economic Loss Doctrine

Contract claims and tort claims are generally separate theories of recovery. Indeed, “the mere failure to perform a contract cannot serve as the basis of tortliability.” State ex rel. William Ranni Assoc., Inc. v. Hartenbach, 742 S.W.2d 134, 140 (Mo.1987). In a similar vein, or stated differently, the economic loss doctrine prohibits a plaintiff from…

Contract: Time for Performance

Written contracts often include precise language covering when certain acts must be done. For example, contracts often include provisions as to when payment should be made and when parties are obligated to perform their contractual duties. What happens when a contract is silent on timing? When a contract does not specify a time for performance,…

Leading Questions

A “leading question” is generally one which suggests its own answer. They usually only are permitted on cross-examination. However, whether to allow the use of leading questions otherwise — like on direct examination — is up to the trial judge’s discretion. King v. Copp Trucking, Inc., 853 S.W.2d 304, 309 (Mo. Ct. App. 1993). Even…

Undue Influence

An undue influence claim is one of the two most common ways to legally attack a trust, will, or non-probate transfer. There is a “presumption” of undue influence if: (1) the influencer obtains a substantial benefit from the document, (2) the influencer was active in procuring the document, and (3) there was a confidential relationship…

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