Making of a Contract, Long-Arm Statute

Missouri can often (but not always) hear disputes about contracts made within Missouri. Section 506.500, RSMo. Specifically, Missouri’s “long-arm” statute permits the exercise of jurisdiction when the dispute relates to the “making of any contract within this state.” Id. The exercise of jurisdiction must also meet certain federal constitutional requirements. When is a contract made within this…

Work Product Protections

The “work product doctrine” is a defense to pretrial discovery. State ex rel. Malashock v. Jamison, 502 S.W.3d 618, 619-20 (Mo. 2016). It prohibits the disclosure of tangible and intangible work created or commission by counsel in preparation for possible litigation. Id. It consists of materials reflecting an attorney’s efforts at preparing a case — including but…

Sub Silentio Opinions, Appeals

“Sub silentio” means “without notice being taken or without making a particular point of the matter in question.” Badahman v. Catering St. Louis, 395 S.W.3d 29, 49 fn 10 (Mo. 2013). This term is used to refer to the practice of appellate courts overturning cases without explicitly stating so. Although this is possible, it is…

Standing for Breach of Contract

“[O]nly parties to a contract and any third-party beneficiaries of a contract have standing to enforce that contract.” Verni v. Cleveland Chiropractic Coll., 212 S.W.3d 150, 153 (Mo. 2007). It is difficult to prove that you are a third-party beneficiary. The reasoning for this high hurdle is that courts are reluctant to spread breach of…

Permissive Counterclaims

As a plaintiff, it is a good rule of thumb to expect a defendant to file a counter-lawsuit. Strategically, defendants employ counterclaims to put a plaintiff on the defensive and create risk for the plaintiff. Substantively, a counterclaim sometimes must be asserted or else it is lost/waived. Rule 55.32(a) requires a defendant to assert, as…

Acquiescence & Claim-Splitting

Courts generally prohibit “claim-splitting.” Claim splitting occurs when a single cause of action is “split and filed or tried piecemeal.” G.B. v. Crossroads Acad.-Cent. St., 618 S.W.3d 581, 591 (Mo. Ct. App. 2020). When more than one lawsuit is filed, and the first results in a judgment, claims that could have been raised by the prevailing…

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