• April 28, 2014

MoneyGrab MachineFrom time to time, businesses need money and banks lend it to them. From time to time, businesses need more money and more banks lend them more money. And, from time to time, businesses cannot repay the money they borrowed from the banks (and others). After that, there can be wheeling and dealing, horse-trading, begging, accommodations, extensions, work-arounds, and, if all that does not work, there can be a mad scramble among creditors (banks and others) to mitigate their losses and grab the few dollars floating around as the business debtors disintegrate and their assets disappear.

And that is when sometimes folks might take what does not really entirely belong to them.

PuckMaster, LLC “helped companies just like yours achieve significant increases in scrap recycling revenue and extraordinary savings….” Well, maybe not companies like yours (or mine) but PuckMaster apparently created machines that could take scrap metal and reform it into “briquettes” (puck-like, I figure).

But then Puckmaster hit hard times. Two lenders, Crown Bank and Landmark Community Bank were there to help  in the first instance (by giving loans) and their to collect their due after Puckmaster’s downfall, apparently.

In a recent trial before Hennepin County Judge Thomas M. Sipkins, Crown Bank, represented by the litigation boutique powerhouse, Anthony Ostlund Baer & Leuwagie (led by Randy Gullickson), prevailed against Landmark. Landmark finds itself a judgment debtor to the tune of $726,388.00 plus costs and disbursements. It would seem that Landmark snatched up some PuckMaster assets to which Crown Bank claimed entitlement.

A final note (to be filed under, “D’OH!”): observe that the jury form left the answer to one question blank (Question 9). As noted by Judge Sipkins in his “Finding of Fact, Number 9,” this was due to a “clerical error.” If you go back to to verdict form, instructions after Question 8 read, “If you answered yes to Question No. 8, please proceed to Question No. 10.”

AAAAAAAaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh. The form was supposed to say, “please proceed to Question No. 9.” The jury did as it was told and, in doing so, the verdict form was incomplete.

Fortunately, this slip-up does not appear to have jeopardized the integrity of the entire proceeding.

If trials had to be perfect (or even close), the process would have to be slowed to glacial pace and safeguards and redundancies would have to be put into place. Our system would collapse under its own weight. So, raise a toast to “good enough” and congratulations to the team from  Anthony Ostlund Baer & Leuwagie.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *