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Intervision Systems Technologies Inc. v. InterCall, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

October 27, 2015

Intervision Systems Technologies, Inc.. appellee and cross-appellant,
v.
InterCall, Inc., appellant and cross-appellee.

1. Summary Judgment. An appellate court will affirm a lower court's grant of summary judgment if the pleadings and admitted evidence show that there is no genuine issue as to any material facts or as to the ultimate inferences that may be drawn from the facts and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

2. Summary Judgment: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. When reviewing cross-motions for summary judgment, an appellate court acquires jurisdiction over both motions and may determine the controversy that is the subject of those motions.

3. Contracts: Judgments: Appeal and Error. The meaning of a contract is a question of law, in connection with which an appellate court has an obligation to reach its conclusions independently of the determinations made by the court below.

4. Contracts: Public Policy: Appeal and Error. Nebraska appellate courts have traditionally been reluctant to void contractual clauses on public policy alone.

5. Contracts: Public Policy. Persons should not be unnecessarily restricted in their freedom to make their own contracts, and therefore, the court should act cautiously and not hold contracts void as being contrary to public policy unless they are clearly and unmistakably so.

6. Contracts: Public Policy: Words and Phrases. A contract void for public policy reasons is one quite clearly repugnant to the public conscience.

7. Contracts: Public Policy: Limitations of Actions. Contractual provisions shortening a statute of limitations are against public policy.

[23 Neb.App. 361] 8. Contracts: Public Policy: Limitations of Actions: Time. A contract which provides that no action shall be brought thereon or for a breach thereof, unless within a time therein specified which is different from the time which the statute fixes for bringing an action on such contract or for a breach thereof, is against public policy and will not be enforced by the courts of this state.

9. Contracts: Limitations of Actions. Parties to a contract may not bind the courts to a period of limitations other than that prescribed by statute.

10. Courts: Contracts: Public Policy. Courts will not emasculate the liberty of contract by enabling parties to escape their contractual obligations on the pretext of public policy unless the preservation of the public welfare imperatively so demands.

11. Limitations of Actions: Words and Phrases. A statute of limitations is a law declaring that no suit shall be maintained on certain described causes of action unless brought within a specified period of time after the right accrued.

12. Courts: Contracts. Courts will not rewrite bargained-for provisions between sophisticated parties.

13. Courts: Contracts: Claims: Notice: Limitations of Actions. Nebraska courts have recognized the conceptual differences between notice of claim provisions and statutes of limitations.

14. Contracts. A contract is not substantively unconscionable unless the terms are grossly unfair under the circumstances that existed when the parties entered into the contract.

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Peter C. Bataillon, Judge.

Patrick R. Guinan, of Erickson & Sederstrom, PC, L.L.O., for ...


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