Contract law can involve drafting contracts, as well as representing parties in enforcing contracts or defending against claims of breach of contract. Under Missouri law, the essential elements of a valid contract include offer, acceptance, and bargained for consideration. Certain contracts, such as ones for the sale of real estate or the promise to pay the debt of another, must be in writing, oral contracts are generally enforceable under Missouri law.
We have defended dozens of cases involving real estate contracts, equipment leases, mortgages, and purchase and sale agreements.
Civil Litigation, Contract Litigation, Contract Negotiation, Consumer Law...
Civil litigation is a broad category of litigation that refers to accessing the courts to settle a legal dispute between two or more parties that seek money damages, a declaration of the parties’ rights, or specific performance of a contract, as opposed to criminal sanctions. Depending on the type of dispute, a civil action may be filed in state or federal court. Some subcategories of civil litigation are contracts, employment law, personal injury, real estate law, environmental law, and class actions.
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Junk-Fax Class Actions, TCPA Robocall Class Actions, TCPA text messages class actions...
A class action is a type of civil lawsuit that allows numerous persons, usually at least forty, who have suffered a similar harm to join together and file a lawsuit. The lawsuit is filed by a lead plaintiff on behalf of a larger group or “class.” Although some cases are brought by multiple lead plaintiffs, only one lead plaintiff is necessary. Class actions provide a means for a large number of persons who have suffered a relatively small amount of financial damage to seek compensation, often from large corporations. Once the court “certifies” the case as a class action, the case proceeds on a class-wide basis and all class members may benefit from the outcome without having to pay to hire their own counsel.
Our firm has filed more than 150 class actions, including ones under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) related to unsolicited faxes, robocalls, spam text messages. We have also filed more than 20 class actions related to mortgage transactions.
MUNICIPAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW
Municipal and local government law consists of constitutional and statutory claims against municipalities most commonly for zoning and sunshine law violations or tort claims not barred by sovereign immunity.
Our firm has successfully represented municipalities and local governmental agencies such as the City of Bridgeton, the City of Wellston, and Central County Emergency 911 Dispatching Agency. We have provided both litigation and legal consultation services to these and other government agencies. We have successfully prosecuted cases for breach of contract and for zoning violations for these agencies and have advised them on zoning, sunshine law, contracts, and more.
Our law firm has also used its expertise to sue government agencies who violate the law or the Constitution. For example, we successfully defended the largest hog farm in Missouri from exclusionary zoning regulations and successfully prosecuted a case for Sunshine Law violation against a city, securing a judgment for statutory damages and legal fees. We also successfully prosecuted a case overturning a municipal annexation, and we prosecuted a case overturning the impeachment of a city council member.
LAND USE LAW
Missouri zoning laws are authorized by federal and state law. Whether a particular land use is allowed in a particular location is regulated by federal and state law, and the applicable local zoning ordinance. We provide legal services in connection with what is permitted, conditional, or prohibited at a particular location, rezoning, various permits, interpretation of laws, variances, and procedure. We have represented individuals, developers, and local government bodies in a variety of zoning, subdivision, and other land use disputes. We offer advocacy and counsel on other legal problems relating to land, like conveyances, easements, adverse possession, eminent domain (condemnation), and trespass.
Our firm has a handbook on land use law that has been distributed to government officials, individuals, and developers. We have a regular column called, “Land Use and the Law” featured in the newsletter of the Municipal League of Metropolitan St. Louis. We have given workshops and seminars to the Missouri Municipal League, planning bodies, bar programs, and government officials.
TRADEMARK, PATENT, and COPYRIGHT LAW
Patent Law refers to the prosecution of the application to obtain a trademark or a patent as well as the filing of a lawsuit or defending a lawsuit for a trademark or patent infringement. We prosecute patent and trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and copyright registrations with the United States Copyright Office. We defend patent infringement claims and file copyright infringement cases. A copyright claim could involve a photographer whose photos have been taken and used by someone without permission. We also defend restaurants, nightclubs, and their owners accused of pirating pay-per view boxing and mixed martial arts events. Copyright claims feature large potential statutory damages for the infringement and may include a Digital Millennium Copyright Act claim for removal of copyright notices. On the patent front, we have prosecuted claims for patent infringement against the United States and related claims against large corporations in situations where the use has been claimed to be top secret by the United States.
Our firm has litigated cases involving the State Secrets Privilege that the United States may invoke to protect secret projects from lawsuits which may reveal secret information
We provide legal services relating to free speech to individuals, journalists, print and broadcast media, telephone companies, and government bodies. We offer prepublication review of news stories, have both prosecuted and defended libel and slander claims, provided advocacy & counsel on public access to government records and meetings, the application and requirements of FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act), of various states sunshine laws (like Missouri’s Chapter 610, RSMo), and HIPPA (Health Care Portability and Accountability Act). We have represented individual artists (journalists, musicians and bands, writers, and photographers) and newspapers, broadcast stations, and associations. The law firm’s handbook on public access to government has been given to individuals, groups, and government officials.
Environmental Law can involve the enforcement or defense against the enforcement of environmental statutes like clean water, Superfunds, and clean air. Another aspect of Environmental Law is bringing or defending lawsuits based upon common law claims, such as trespass or nuisance for pollution injuries.
Our firm has successfully defended clients from Superfund claims and defeated the United States in a federal Superfund trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. We also advise clients on environmental matters and successfully prosecuted a nuisance case against a leaking petroleum pipeline.
Whether you simply need advice on environmental matters for your business or if you have noticed that your water, air, or land has been contaminated by chemicals, by a leaking petroleum pipeline or by landfill fumes and discharges, do not hesitate to contact us.
A lease is a type of contract in which a property owner conveys the right to use and possess the property owner’s property, usually in return for rent. Leases are commonly used in the landlord-tenant context but are also used for vehicles and equipment. Certain lease provisions benefit one side more than the other. It is important to understand the ramifications of all lease provisions before entering into a lease. For example, in the event of litigation over a lease will the losing party be required to pay the attorneys’ fees of the winning party? Must a specific form of notice be given before a lawsuit may be commenced? Do the parties waive their right to a trial by jury?
We represent both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial litigation over landlord/tenant disputes. In addition, we can help you stay out of court by helping you understand your lease and drafting and negotiating provisions to protect your interests.