Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writings are meaningless, especially if self-serving

    Restatement (Third) Agency Sec. 1.02 (2005)
    E.g., Empson v. Mo. Hwy. & Trans. Comm., 649 S.W.2d 517, 521 [4][5][6] (Mo. App. 1983). 
    Empson states:
[4][5][6] It is important to note the mere characterization of one party (in a contract) as an independent contractor is not controlling on the question of agency where surrounding facts evince an agency relationship, however artfully disguised. Northern v. McGraw-Edison Co., 542 F.2d 1336, 1343 (8th Cir.1976)."
Accord In re Mid-America Living Trust Assoc. Inc., 927 S.W.2d 855, 866 (Mo. 1996) (describing such disclaimers and “self-serving”); and State ex rel Ford Motor Co. v. Dierker, 766 S.W.2d 691, 695 (Mo. 1989)

Ford Motor adopted Empson’s holding:

[T]he characterization of the relationship by the parties is not controlling “where surrounding facts evince an agency relationship, however artfully disguised.” Empson v. Missouri Highway & Trans. Comm'n, 649 S.W. 2d 517, 521 ( Mo.App. 1983).

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