Legal Articles

Gratuitous Services & Family Relationship Defense

A “family relationship” is an affirmative defense to certain claims. It is rare. It can arise as a defense to claims of unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, or adverse possession. The defense is that services were rendered out of love and affection and that one was not necessarily trying to seek money. “The existence of a…

Constructive Trust: Unjust Enrichment and Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A constructive trust is an equitable device to “remedy a situation where a party has been wrongfully deprived of some right, title or interest in property as a result of fraud or violation of confidence of faith reposed in another.” Lynch v. Lynch, 260 S.W.3d 834, 837 (Mo. 2008).  It may also provide a remedy…

Quantum Meruit versus Unjust Enrichment

Although the two are often confused and melded together, quantum meruit and unjust enrichment are distinct legal theories which can form the basis for a lawsuit. In practice, they are often pleaded and argued together; however, they have different measures of damages.  Quantum meruit requires that the plaintiff prove: (1) he provided the defendant with…

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