| The confidential nature of settlement negotiations and terms, as is frequently agreed to by the parties as part of a settlement package, is a well-established and often referred to as sacred part of American jurisprudence. In a recent opinion, Illinois' First District Appellate Court reminded litigants that such confidentiality, in fact, can be lost.
| The Missouri Supreme Court affirms that amendments to RSMo Sect. 537.065 requiring a valid Sect. 537.065 contract between a plaintiff and a tortfeasor limiting recovery to insurance and notice to insurers for an opportunity to defend do not apply retroactively to cases where the contract was entered into prior to the effective date of the amended statute.
| The U.S. Supreme Court holds that a third-party defendant is not entitled to remove because neither the General Removal Statute nor the Class Action Fairness Act permits a third-party counterclaim defendant to do so.
| The Illinois Appellate Court has held employees' claims under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act do not constitute "wage or hour violations" subject to mandatory arbitration under an employment agreement.
| A Jackson County Circuit Judge awarded almost $40,000 in attorney fees and assessed $4,000.00 in civil penalties to the city clerk for the City of Raytown, after she refused Sunshine Law requests in a matter where the City faced possible litigation.
| Missouri Supreme Court holds that there is adequate consideration for an at-will employee's agreement to arbitrate and compels arbitration of his wrongful termination and discrimination claims.
| Illinois Supreme Court has held that no damages beyond the statutory violation itself are required to state a claim for the improper collection, retention, or dissemination of biometric identifiers under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act.
| A taxpayer lacks standing to protest a property assessment made before the taxpayer owned the property. And a taxpayer asserting a discrimination claim must prove that other similarly situated properties were undervalued compared to his property.
| Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District declines to find a common-law rule requiring a driver backing out of a parking spot in a private parking lot to yield the right-of-way to another driver in the lane adjacent to the parking spot.
| The Eighth Circuit deals severely with a plaintiff's failure to disclose information about non-retained experts, as required by Rule 26. The result underscores the importance of strict compliance with both the federal rules on discovery and those regarding sanctions for non-compliance.
| Missouri's Western District has held 2017 amendments to 537.065 mandating insurers have notice and an opportunity to intervene as of right when an insured enters into a 537.065 agreement apply prospectively only to agreements executed after the effective date of the amendment, August 28, 2017.
| In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court continued the U.S. Supreme Court's trend toward limiting personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant. In State ex rel. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Dolan, the Court held Norfolk's substantial and continuous business in the state of Missouri was insufficient to establish general personal jurisdiction over Norfolk.
| In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer's intervention in a case involving a Section 537.065 between the plaintiff and an insured, as well as the more-than-bare-bones showing required for a finding of insurer bad faith.
| In a matter of first impression, the Missouri Supreme Court recently clarified that Missouri's venue statute must be read to allow venue (referring to the locale where the trial in a case can be held) in any Missouri county when requirements for both subject matter and personal jurisdiction are met.
| During the course of litigation, unfavorable interlocutory court rulings (i.e. rulings that are not final for purposes of an immediate appeal) may be temporary hiccups in the preparation of a party's case or may threaten a party's overall litigation strategy and chance of ultimate success. Until final resolution of all parties and issues, there may be nothing a party can do about those unfavorable rulings.
| In many ways, referring to a lawyer with extensive experience practicing in appellate courts as an "appellate" lawyer is misleading. An appellate lawyer is practiced generally in legal research, writing and analysis and is skilled at approaching matters from a detached, academic perspective. These are skill sets that can bring value to all stages of litigation.
| The trial is over. Things did not go as had been hoped, and an adverse judgment has been entered. An appeal is a given, right? Not necessarily. Although in most civil cases, there is an automatic right to an appeal from an adverse judgment or other final order, that does not necessarily mean an appeal is the right choice in every case.
| On September 9, 2014, in a unanimous opinion authored by the Honorable Patricia Breckenridge, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a Missouri statute which imposed a cap on the amount of punitive damages awarded to the greater of $500,000 or five times the net amount of the judgment awarded a plaintiff against a defendant.
| Requests for admissions propounded pursuant to Missouri Rule of Civil Procedure 59.01 are likely to get any litigant's attention, if only due to the potential consequences for failing to timely respond. The rule says such failure shall result in each matter being admitted. To underscore the point, the rule requires…
| Some major changes are coming soon to Missouri's Workers' Compensation Law. Earlier this year, the Missouri General Assembly passed what began as a legislative effort to address issues in the coverage of occupational diseases created by the switch in 2005 to strict construction of the Law. In the end, this effort resulted in…
| Under Rule 45(a)(2), a subpoena "must issue from the court where the action is pending." This simplifies the previous version of the rule where a subpoena for attendance at trial or hearing had to issue from the court for the district where the hearing or trial was to be held, a subpoena for attendance at a deposition had to issue from…
| In an opinion issued July 16, 2013, the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals declined to extend what would have amounted to dram shop-type liability to a gun shop that sold ammunition and magazines to a purchaser who used a stolen credit card and later shot and killed two individuals.
| A recent opinion from the Missouri Supreme Court is notable not so much for its conclusion, but for the stark contrast in how the majority and dissenting opinions viewed and interpreted a lower court ruling. The opinion serves to highlight the importance of building a clear record of trial court rulings for purposes of appeal.
| The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, has held in favor of Monsanto on a patent infringement suit arising from the St. Louis-based company's Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto invented and patented a genetic modification that enables soybean plants to survive exposure to glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in many herbicides (including another Monsanto product, Roundup). According to the opinion…
| In a matter of first impression, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District has held the exclusionary rule barring evidence of subsequent remedial measures does not apply when the remedial measure was implemented by a non-party. According to the Court....
| In a recent opinion, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District held a workers' compensation claimant had sufficiently proven her husband sustained an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of his employment with Capital Region Medical Center with evidence that his hepatitis C was "probably" caused by his employment. This, despite the fact that claimant presented no evidence that anyone with hepatitis C was ever present in the workplace.
| The Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri has answered in the affirmative a question left open by the Missouri Supreme Court almost two decades ago: whether a claim for punitive damages can in fact serve as an exception to the general rule that once an employer had admitted respondeat superior liability for an employee's negligence, it is improper to allow a plaintiff to proceed against the employer on any other theory of imputed liability.
| In a case of first impression, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District has addressed the very narrow issue of what effect the permissive joinder rule has on venue where a plaintiff suffers injuries from separate, successive accidents in different counties within the State of Missouri. The Court concludes the new venue statute...
| Missouri's economic loss doctrine prohibits a commercial buyer of goods from seeking to recover in negligence or strict liability for purely economic losses that are contractual in nature. In this appeal originating in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals held that, if called upon to do so, the Missouri Supreme Court would likely hold…
| On any given week, most of us are asked to sign at least one or two releases of liability for various sporting and recreational events. The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District recently held those releases may be effective as to entities who were not releasees at the time the releasor signed the document.
| The Missouri Supreme Court in a 4 to 3 decision held that section 538.210 RSMo 2000 is unconstitutional to the extent that it infringes on the jury's constitutionally protected purpose of determining the amount of damages sustained by an injured party. The Court further held...
| In Berra v. Danter, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, addressed what has been a disputed issue among litigants: whether the reasonable value of plaintiff's medical services may be determined by looking to the amount of medical expenses "incurred," or only by looking to the amount of medical expenses actually paid. The Eastern District held...