Schaefer v. Altman, No. ED 89708.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtRoy L. Richter
Citation250 S.W.3d 381
PartiesRoland K. SCHAEFER, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. Lawrence J. ALTMAN, et al., Defendants/Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. ED 89708.
Decision Date13 February 2008
250 S.W.3d 381
Roland K. SCHAEFER, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
Lawrence J. ALTMAN, et al., Defendants/Respondents.
No. ED 89708.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, Division Three.
February 13, 2008.
Motion for Rehearing and/or Transfer to Supreme Court Denied March 25, 2008.
Application for Transfer Denied May 20, 2008.

[250 S.W.3d 382]

Roland K. Schaefer, St. Louis, pro se.

[250 S.W.3d 383]

Daniel G. Tobben, Jeffrey R. Schmitt, Danna McKitrick, P.C., St. Louis, for Respondent.

ROY L. RICHTER, Presiding Judge.


Roland K. Schaefer ("Client") appeals the judgment in favor of Lawrence J. Altman ("Attorney") on his malpractice and negligent misrepresentation claims. We dismiss the appeal for failure to comply with Missouri Supreme Court Rule 84.04.

I. BACKGROUND

Client is no stranger to the courts, having filed numerous actions against numerous parties stemming from a claim against Washington University ("the underlying lawsuit"). After firing his first attorney in the underlying lawsuit, Client hired Attorney to pursue his claims. The trial court entered summary judgment against Client. Client appealed pro se and the appeal was dismissed. Client then filed three additional lawsuits, none of which were successful. One such suit resulted in an order from a federal district court judge enjoining Client from "prosecuting any action in any court based upon the same allegations as those raised in [the underlying lawsuit]."

Client filed suit pro se against Attorney.1 In this suit, Client named Attorney and his Attorney's wife as defendants, and included counts for fraud, fraudulent omission/concealment, civil conspiracy, legal malpractice, and negligent misrepresentation. After dismissing a number of such claims, the trial court reviewed Attorney's motion for summary judgment and ultimately entered judgment against Client. Client appeals.

II. DISCUSSION

Attorney has filed a motion to dismiss Client's appeal for failure to comply with Missouri Supreme Court Rule 84.04. Attorney's motion is well taken, and we dismiss Client's appeal.2

Pro se appellants are held to the same standards as attorneys and must comply with the Supreme Court Rules, including Rule 84.04. Gant v. Lou Fusz Motor Co., 153 S.W.3d 866, 866 (Mo.App. E.D.2004); Davis v. Coleman, 93 S.W.3d 742, 742 (Mo.App. E.D.2002). "While we understand the problem faced by pro se litigants, we cannot relax our standard for non-lawyers." Ponzar v. Whitmoor Country Club, 114 S.W.3d 336, 337 (Mo.App. E.D.2003). Rule 84.04 provides the requirements for appellate briefs, and an appellant's failure to comply with the rules and requirements of appellate procedure

250 S.W.3d 384

constitutes grounds for dismissal of the appeal. Gant, 153 S.W.3d at 866.

Client has failed to comply with Rule 84.04 in several respects, leaving nothing for appellate review. Rule 84.04(d)(1) dictates that a Point Relied On must identify the ruling or action of the trial court which is being challenged, must provide a concise statement of the legal reasons for the claim on appeal, and must explain why the legal reasons support the claim of error.

Client's points relied on fail to conform to this rule.3 Client's first point fails to set forth any statement of the legal reasons to support his claim of error. Instead, Client simply states that the trial court's decisions to deny his requests are "each errors of law." Both points fail to explain why the law, in the context of the facts, supports the claim of reversible error.

Rule 84.04(d)(1) also requires each Point Relied On to be substantially in the following form: "[t]he trial court erred in [identify the challenged ruling or action], because [state the legal reasons for the claim of reversible error], in that [explain why the legal reasons, in the context of the case, support the claim of...

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3 practice notes
  • Hamilton v. Archer, No. ED 105342
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 20, 2018
    ...no claims are preserved for appellate review, then we must dismiss the appeal. Scott , 310 S.W.3d at 312 (citing Schaefer v. Altman , 250 S.W.3d 381, 384 (Mo. App. E.D. 2008) ). Here, Mr. Hamilton failed to comply with Rule 84.04 in several respects. First, Mr. Hamilton’s statement of facts......
  • Bank v. American Family, No. ED 90742.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 23, 2008
    ...with the Missouri Supreme Court Rules, including Rule 84.04, which sets forth the requirements for appellate briefs. Schaefer v. Altman, 250 S.W.3d 381, 384 (Mo.App. E.D.2008). An appellant's failure to comply with the rules and requirements set forth in Rule 84.04 constitutes grounds for d......
  • Fazio v. Wolf, No. ED 97568.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • October 23, 2012
    ...must comply with the Supreme Court Rules, including Rule 84.04, which provides the requirements for appellate briefs. Schaefer v. Altman, 250 S.W.3d 381, 383 (Mo.App. E.D.2008). “While we understand the problem faced by pro se litigants, we cannot relax our standard for non-lawyers.” Ponzar......
3 cases
  • Hamilton v. Archer, No. ED 105342
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 20, 2018
    ...no claims are preserved for appellate review, then we must dismiss the appeal. Scott , 310 S.W.3d at 312 (citing Schaefer v. Altman , 250 S.W.3d 381, 384 (Mo. App. E.D. 2008) ). Here, Mr. Hamilton failed to comply with Rule 84.04 in several respects. First, Mr. Hamilton’s statement of facts......
  • Bank v. American Family, No. ED 90742.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 23, 2008
    ...with the Missouri Supreme Court Rules, including Rule 84.04, which sets forth the requirements for appellate briefs. Schaefer v. Altman, 250 S.W.3d 381, 384 (Mo.App. E.D.2008). An appellant's failure to comply with the rules and requirements set forth in Rule 84.04 constitutes grounds for d......
  • Fazio v. Wolf, No. ED 97568.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • October 23, 2012
    ...must comply with the Supreme Court Rules, including Rule 84.04, which provides the requirements for appellate briefs. Schaefer v. Altman, 250 S.W.3d 381, 383 (Mo.App. E.D.2008). “While we understand the problem faced by pro se litigants, we cannot relax our standard for non-lawyers.” Ponzar......

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