Bad Faith Insurance Practices

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When insurance companies put their own interests ahead of the interests of their customers, it raises questions of “bad faith.” For example, imagine you have been sued, and your insurance company provides an attorney to defend you. The total damages could exceed your insurance coverage. But then the other side puts an entirely reasonable offer on the table, and then …

Award of Attorney Fees upheld, even though not directly mentioned in the Contract

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One of the well-known rules in American law is the “American Rule” on fees — unless a statute or contract says otherwise, the parties bear the expenses of their own lawyers. So in commercial disputes, it’s rare for the winning party to receive its fees, absent a clear agreement. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, just added a wrinkle …

Members may need to react to church embezzlement

Churches are not exempt from embezzlement or financial fraud. The “world’s largest megachurch” in Korea recently uncovered $12 million in fraud. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimates there will be $39 billion in church financial fraud during 2014. That is more than the $35 billion spent on foreign mission work! If embezzlement happens to your church, remember …

Judge orders Corporation to seat trustees, pay $5.5 mil to firm client.

A Circuit Judge has ordered the Missouri Baptist Foundation, which administers over $152 million in assets, to seat trustee/directors elected by the Missouri Baptist Convention (a client of this firm). The Court also awarded $5.5 million in fees and interest, due to the “special circumstances” surrounding the case. In 2001, the Foundation voted to sever ties with the Missouri Baptist …

ERLC Brief

You may download the brief directly from this link.

Markdown for Lawyers, II

From the Readme.txt at http://code.google.com/p/markdown-for-lawyers/: Most people who find this page will, by now, be familiar with markdown syntax. Created by John Gruber, and extended as “multimarkdown” by Fletcher Penney, markdown allows writing for the web without unreadable code. Headings are indicated by a number sign (#), and asterisks turn on and off emphasis. A simpler parser spits out the …

Court of Appeals upholds win for local congregation

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, affirmed that Gashland Presbyterian Church, located in Kansas City, Missouri, did not create or consent to a trust over its property. Gashland had been sued by Heartland Presbytery, which claimed a trust on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). According to the Court, “Gashland, a local Presbyterian congregation, terminated its affiliation with the …

Mo. Laywers Weekley: Court finds insurer liable in car dealer case

Attorneys [including Jonathan Whitehead] who are handling a series of lawsuits against Chad Franklin and his Kansas City area car dealership business got some good news from a state appellate court about their legal theory. … See more at Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly.

iPhone’s new ‘assistant’ a reminder of e-discovery beyond keywords.

You’ve heard, by now, that Apple’s newest phone will include Siri, “virtual assistant” technology. Voice commands have been around for awhile, but Apple is, arguably, opening the technology to everyday, wide-scale use. Which is just a reminder: keywords aren’t always the best way to find things. In a world where audio and video are becoming commonplace, the evidence you need …

Legal Moneyball

In the wake of the new Moneyball movie, we’re hearing a lot about legal statistics. The ABA Journal recently predicted that “If Legal Services Value Stats Were Created, Standardized, Law Clients Could Play ‘Moneyball’.” But do we have that much time? Take a look at Redfin’s new “Scouting Report” for real estate agents. It shows the listings and recent sales …