• July 12, 2023

Who wants to bother with “the parasites lawyers“? Who wants to inject distrust into mutually beneficial relationships between friends? Insecure (maybe untrustworthy?) losers? Jerks, right? Who has time for that? No one.


The linked “non-precedential” Minnesota Court of Appeals decision tells the story of Messrs. Haler and Beskau who seem to have been very active and successful in a wide variety of agricultural ventures…until they were apparently very active and unsuccessful. That is, they fell on hard times.

Allegedly, “with five pieces of equipment, $2.7 million in bad debt, $1.2 million in judgments, no credit, a prohibition from working with the Farm Services Agency (‘FSA’), and in mental collapse,” the pair appear to have teamed up with some more “liquid” (that is, solvent) business partners, the Schaffers. It seems that Messrs. Haler and Beskau owned land; the Schaffers had the wherewithal to make boatloads of money with the land…. and a deal was made.

What was the deal? That is a more difficult question. As the district court put it:

This case presents an unusual legal challenge of the highest order of complexity. The parties through their actions, and more importantly inaction, have created what can be charitably described as a legal ‘mess.’ They engaged in a long running relationship over approximately 7 1⁄2 years, involving the farming of 10,000 acres of land, generating millions of dollars, with countless transactions involving the sale and lease of land, the purchase, sale, and acquisition of personal
property, as well as distributions themselves, all without any agreement or writing as to the terms of what they were doing.

Attorneys for Beskau and Haler sought Minnesota Supreme Court review without success (see petition and response, linked). Learn from the mistakes of others. Hire competent lawyers at the outset rather than putting yourselves through the agony and expense of civil litigation down the line…