Brian Rogers

Here are some pieces from around the web that I’ve enjoyed reading recently.

Let’s talk about the green stuff. A lot of lawyers go into law to avoid sales. Others are in it to avoid business. Unfortunately for them, the good old days are gone, law firms are now businesses, and most lawyers need to spend time and energy developing new business. Still, it’s tough for a lot of us to talk frankly about money matters with our clients, but Pam Woldow makes the case in “Grubby Money” – Lawyers’ Reluctance to Talk About Fees that lawyers need to open the lines of communication and spend more time talking with our clients about money matters.

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River Oaks Home Association v. Lounce

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District reversed the trial court’s ruling that Zeria Lounce was individually liable for home association assessments where she had transferred her home’s title to her revocable living trust. Although Lounce didn’t inform the association of the transfer of her property to the trust, the home association and declaration of restrictions and covenants documents did not require her to notify the home association of the transfer.

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Here are some recent pieces from the web that I found interesting. Perhaps you will too.

How to read an online privacy policy. Does anyone really read privacy policies or website terms? Of course not. Who has the time? Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but as I noted in The E-Contracting Paradox: No One Reads Online Terms But Everyone Agrees to Them, very few people read online terms. But these terms often constitute binding contractual commitments, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re agreeing to. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse provides helpful hints in the Reading a Privacy Policy section of its Social Networking Privacy fact sheet as to what to look for when you read an online privacy policy.

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St. Francis Medical Center v. Reeves

St. Francis Medical Center sued Edward and Jennifer Reeves to collect unpaid medical bills incurred in the birth of the Reeves’s son alleging breach of express contract and action on account. The trial court entered a judgment in favor of the Reeves and St. Francis appealed. The Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District reversed, ruling that the the trial court erred in failing to admit the Reeves’s medical bills into evidence.

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C-H Building Associates, LLC v. Duffey

C-H Building Associates entered into a contract to purchase real estate from Joe and Mary Jane Duffey. At the time of the sale Liberty Homes, a third of which was owned by Joe Duffey, was renting the property. The sale contract contained the following clause relating to the lease:

[The Duffeys] agree[ ] to sell to [C-H] and [C-H] agrees to purchase from [the Duffeys] the real estate described in Exhibit A . . . together with any buildings and improvements thereon, and all personal property used in the operation of the buildings and improvements . . . and including the following: LEASE WITH LIBERTY HOMES TO BE 3 YEARS AT $3,000.00 PER MONTH TRIPLE NET ON THE NORTH APPROXIMATELY 2500 SQ FT OF BUILDING AT 100 CLAYVIEW DRIVE.

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If you are still applying to law school, you might be an idiot. The title of this Above the Law article made me laugh out loud. Law schools have been taking a beating in the press lately as people are questioning the value of a law degree in today’s business world. The Above the Law piece discusses a recent Atlantic article about the recent drop in the number of law school applicants with high entrance exam scores and the much lower drop in applicants with low scores. Hat tip to Bradley Clark who tweets under the handle @BradleyBClark and blogs at the Texas Law Blog.

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J M Neil & Associates, Inc. v. Alexander Robert William, Inc.

J M Neil & Associates, Inc. (“JMN”), a woman-owned business, entered into a teaming agreement in 2005 with Alexander Robert William, Inc. (“ARW”), a veteran-owned business, in hopes of being awarded a veteran set-aside General Services Administration contract. Under the teaming agreement, ARW would be the prime contractor under the GSA contract, and JMN would serve as a subcontractor to ARW. The teaming agreement contained a non-compete agreement that prohibited ARW from hiring the JMN employees who were to work on the GSA contract or attempting to influence them to remain with ARW after termination of the GSA agreement.

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Here are some recent tidbits from the web.

Lawyers need more sleep. The ABA Journal reported on a study sponsored by the Sleep’s mattress chain that found that lawyers are the second most sleep-deprived workers. We average seven hours of sleep a night. Loggers are the most sleep deprived and they get seven hours and 20 minutes of sleep a night. I think the real story here isn’t that lawyers sleep less than others, but that we all need more sleep.

Fast tweeting. The NASCAR season kicked off Monday night after the sport’s biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, was postponed a day due to rain. Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a safety vehicle, which exploded (it was carrying 200 gallons of jet fuel), delaying the race for a couple of hours. In an impressive display of multi-tasking, fellow driver Brad Keselowski pulled out his smart phone, snapped a picture of the fire, and started tweeting while he was sitting in his car on the track. His tweets went viral, and he more than doubled his following during the delay. See this Mashable article for a full report.

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A tremendous amount of business is conducted via purchase orders without signed contracts. Overall, this is good for commerce because business doesn’t have to screech to a halt every time a company needs to buy something, to give the lawyers time to work out the legal terms. But if there’s no signed contract, how do you know when a contract has been formed, and how do you know what the terms of the contract are?

These are million-dollar questions that are very difficult to answer and which are often litigated. In fact, it’s impossible to know the answers until after the fact because they depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each individual transaction.

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AMCM, Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that a hobby farm was not intended for a “similar use” under a newly-acquired property clause of an insurance policy covering a day care center.

Secure Energy, Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denied the defendant insurance company’s motion to dismiss, holding that the plaintiff had pled facts sufficient to withstand the motion.

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