• February 28, 2011

Minnesota Litigator suggests that “ufta,” the last alternative spelling proposed above, might be particularly apt for the latest episode of the Afremov Affair.  The question is whether the Minnesota UFTA! applies or the New Hampshire UFTA (that is, the Minnesota or New Hampshire Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, a “uniform” law passed state-by-state sometimes with small (but sometimes critical) variations).

This is not the kind of issue likely to make it into a major motion picture or showing up on The Good Wife.  Seems a little dry, but some lawyers’ firm distributions may ride in the balance, so some are sure to be riveted…

Regular readers of Minnesota Litigator will be familiar (if not bored?) with the Afremov case.  ML has even covered the precise issue of plaintiff’s attempted “clawback” of defendant law firm partner distributions, made, plaintiff argues, from money they basically misappropriated from him with poor (and conflicted) legal representation.

In this latest installment, the public gets a clearer picture of the defense in this case (the case has been sealed, unsealed, partially resealed – the case might be in an ad for ZipLoc when all’s said and done), thanks to the citation of a “cloaked” (that is, anonyomous) 8th Circuit decision related to the case.   The defendants in the malpractice case will apparently put on evidence that they were not co-conspirators in their client’s tax fraud but, rather, were themselves deceived by Afremov.

But before even getting to the merits defense, U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz (D. Minn.) may need to determine whether an UFTA claim is barred under the New Hampshire law or is still viable under Minnesota law.

An aside: local well-known litigator Douglas A. Kelley is in the “supporting cast” in this relatively small production and, coincidentally, plays a lead role in Minnesota’s Mother of All Clawbacks…(STAY TUNED if you are a Kelley fan.  His role in this case may be growing.)

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