Gislason & Hunter represents numerous financial institutions with sophisticated counsel and experienced representation across the spectrum. Thoroughly familiar with financial economic conditions and the ever-evolving regulatory environment, our finance and banking attorneys provide legal guidance, practical solutions and litigation services.
Our accomplished attorneys bring substantial expertise to the Finance industry to deliver the very best in service and results.
Cases & Clients
Employment Policies, Agreements and Employee Handbooks
Experienced and passionate about assisting employers and their human resources professionals craft employment policies designed to comply with the law as well as practically address and minimize workplace issues. Brittany King-Asamoa also has experience drafting agreements that best fit the needs of employers including, but not limited to, non-competes, independent contractor, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and assignments of intellectual property rights.
Hemp and Marijuana Law
Rhett Schwichtenberg is Gislason & Hunter’s cannabis expert. Rhett is active in the hemp and overarching cannabis industry. He followed federal legislation leading up to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing industrial hemp and continues to track legislation impacting the industry. Rhett is passionate about advising growers, processors, cannabis-related businesses, and financial institutions. His ag background and experience with the agribusiness lifecycle enable him to assist cannabis-related businesses from the initial planning phase and formation to succession. Rhett has advised multiple banking and lending institutions on navigating the current regulatory landscape. Rhett pairs his business and legal acumen with first-hand experience, farming 143 acres of hemp with his father on their family’s century farm. These skills have made Rhett a serious practitioner in the hemp and marijuana industry. Rhett is a member of the Minnesota Hemp Association.
Ownership of Source Code
Represented group of banks and financial organizations in a dispute on the ownership of the source code used to build their financial transaction platforms online.
Performs Audits for Exempt and Non-Exempt Employment Status Identification
Proper identification of an employee’s entitlement to overtime pay or exemption from overtime laws is vital for employers. The ramifications for erroneously identifying an employee as exempt from overtime can be disastrous. Brittany King-Asamoa has performed position audits for multiple companies to assist employers with finding the proper identification of individuals exempt from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.
Dispute Over Ownership of Real Property
In 2014, Jennifer Lurken successfully tried a dispute over ownership in the Bankruptcy Court. Jennifer’s client was claiming ownership in real property based upon a signed deed from the debtor’s father. The debtor’s father claimed he had not executed the deed and therefore, he was the rightful owner of the real estate. The Bankruptcy Court ruled the deed was in fact signed by the debtor’s father. Therefore, the real property was the debtor’s asset and could be liquidated for the benefit of the unsecured creditors.
Complex Credit Facilities and Forbearance Agreements
Assisted financial institutions in drafting complex credit facilities and forbearance agreements.
$300 Million Loan Refinancing
In early 2017, Chris Bowler assisted in a loan refinancing project that resulted in a $300 million syndicate loan. Chris’ involvement in the refinancing project included drafting multiple promissory notes, perfecting security interests in multiple states, and verifying the enforceability of mortgages and collateral assignments filed on over 50 different parcels of real property.
Collection Cases Involving Counterclaims
Represented banks in collection cases involving counterclaims claiming oral modifications of credit agreements, defamation, interference with contractual relationships, interference with business contractual relationships, lender liability, principal liability, negligence, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, deceptive trade practices and accounting. Negotiated numerous workouts and forbearance agreements in connection with loans involving real estate, manufacturing, service, distribution, retail and franchise interests.
Employment Administrative Proceedings
Brittany King-Asamoa is experienced with the administrative proceedings involving an employment charge filed with the EEOC and Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She has assisted in the defending against charges and represented employers in EEOC conciliation proceedings, as well as respond to requests for information during EEOC investigations.
$330 Million Debt Financing
Represented a client in conjunction with $330 million debt financing.
Commercial and Agricultural Loan and Collection Actions
Jeff Braegelmann is the chair of the Gislason & Hunter Banking Practice Group and has assisted lenders in the collection of secured and unsecured commercial and agricultural debts. His experience spans the collection process and includes Farmer Lender Mediation, pre-litigation case assessments, foreclosures by action and advertisement, replevins and other prejudgment motions, collection of judgments and bankruptcy proceedings. He is successful in negotiating workouts and defending lender liability claims. Jeff also assists lenders in preparing loan agreements, notes and mortgages, perfecting liens on collateral and all other aspects of proper loan documentation and execution.
Appointment as a Receiver
In 2012, Jennifer Lurken was appointed as the receiver to manage a hotel. The hotel owner was in default on its secured loan. The secured creditor desired the hotel to be sold as a going concern in an effort to maximize value for purposes of a sale. Jennifer installed new management over the hotel, decreased the deficit the hotel was operating under and sold the hotel, allowing the secured creditor to recover more than it would have recovered in a liquidation.
In 2017 Cory concluded multiyear litigation on behalf of a farm lender over a $3.125M agricultural loan assigned from another bank. The debtors defaulted and then denied any liability to the lender. (One of the debtors even denied the lender existed!) Prior to litigation the debtors had liquidated collateral, and mingled assets with another operation. A farm visit to inspect collateral turned violent and law enforcement was called.
The debtors alleged the entire panoply of spurious counterclaims including FDCPA violations, Minnesota Farm Lender Act violations, fraud and theft.
After discovery, depositions and motion practice Cory got the debtors to reverse course, admit liability, and give up on their counter claims. They executed a confession of judgement and eventually paid off the debt in full including interest, penalties, and attorney fees.
See Sherburne County File No. 71-CV-16-1448
Litigation of Preference and Fraudulent Transfer Avoidance Claims
In 2016, Jennifer Lurken successfully defended her client against avoidance actions in excess of $20 million. The client had loaned $20 million to the bankrupt debtor and the bankruptcy trustee was attempting to undue the transaction and recover not just the principal paid to the client but the interest as well. Prior to trial, as a result of Jennifer’s legal research and investigation skills, she was able to obtain a favorable settlement for the client. Jennifer routinely represents banks and other lenders in pursuing and defending fraudulent transfer claims.
Contested LLC Non-Judicial Dissolution
In mid-2017, Chris Bowler assisted one of two 50-50 limited liability company owners in the non-judicial dissolution of the LLC. Although the dissolution process was highly contested, Chris was successful in negotiating the terms of the dissolution on behalf of his client without a need to seek judicial intervention. Aside from this particular dispute, Chris also assists various types of business entities (such as corporations, LLCs, and partnerships) in various corporate governance matters.
Led design and implementation of succession planning for third and fourth generation family owned holding company engaged in real estate, beverage distribution, banking and insurance industries.
Brittany King-Asamoa has valued experience performing workplace investigations regarding reports of discrimination, sexual harassment, and general non-compliance with employment laws. She takes great pride in performing these investigations with an eye toward counseling employers and management about compliance issues, as well assisting employers in identifying problem areas and solutions.
Representation for Banks
Represented multiple banks in branch acquisitions, capital transactions and bank holding company governance and regulatory matters.
$80 Million Asset Acquisition
Represented a client in an $80 million asset acquisition in conjunction with the competitive bidding process, leading the initial negotiations with the seller and seller's investment bankers and attorneys, drafting the Letter of Intent and performing due diligence in three states in the U.S. and advising client in conjunction with a Section 363 Sale proceeding.
Representation of Secured Creditor in Bankruptcy Proceeding
In 2017, Jennifer Lurken represented a bank with a blanket security interest in all of the borrower’s equipment and other personal property and real estate. After debtor filed bankruptcy, Jennifer obtained relief from the automatic stay. Jennifer then used her negotiation skills to obtain an agreement from the bankruptcy trustee and the debtor for the turnover of the equipment and real estate via deeds in lieu of foreclosure. Jennifer has represented lenders in cases involving foreclosure, secured interests, priority disputes, tax liens and loan defaults.
Presents on Employment Law Developments
Brittany King-Asamoa routinely monitors employment law developments and trends to keep employers apprised of compliance issues. She frequently presents and writes articles about employment law matters including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, #MeToo, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and other laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Labor.
Appealing Awards of Unemployment Compensation
Brittany King-Asamoa has successfully represented numerous employers in evidentiary hearings challenging eligibility determinations for unemployment compensation.
Rhett Schwichtenberg has represented financial institutions in successfully obtaining money and replevin judgments against debtors in default.
Pundt v. Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., et. al.
Pundt v. Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., et. al.; Northern District of Iowa, Case No. 10-cv-159 David Nelmark deposed the plaintiff who had asserted claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and drafted the briefs leading to summary judgment for his client. 2012 WL 2312074 (N.D. Iowa June 18, 2012).
Disputed Claims to Collateral
In 2017, Dean Zimmerli represented a bank with a blanket security interest in all of the borrower’s equipment other personal property. After the borrower’s business failed, the client realized many pieces of equipment has been hidden and given to a family member of the borrower. Dean was successful in obtaining a temporary injunction from the court against the family member prohibiting the family member from transferring or selling the collateral, and eventually the collateral was all reclaimed by the bank. Prior to a jury trial on the outstanding issues in the case, legal research by Dean concerning security interests and ownership questions led to a favorable settlement for the bank. Dean has represented banks and other lenders in numerous cases involving foreclosure, security interests, bankruptcies, priority disputes, and loan defaults.
Advised a client as to potential lender liability for foreclosing on environmentally hazardous properties.
Implementation of a Complex Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan
Following a lengthy and at times contentious bankruptcy process, the Bankruptcy Court approved a reorganization plan negotiated between the debtors and the bank. In implementing the plan, the parties disagreed as to how much money the Bank was entitled to under the terms of the Plan resulting in litigation in state court, where the district court judge initially sided with the debtors. On appeal, Dean Zimmerli and Dustan Cross provided extensive and compelling arguments concerning the correct interpretation of the plan and calculation of the funds owed to the bank, and the Court of Appeals reversed. As a result of the Court of Appeals’ decision in favor the bank, the total amount recovered by the bank under that provision of the plan doubled from what was initially ordered by the district court. Farmers State Bank of Trimont v. Rabbe, No. A19-0707, 2019 WL 7287075 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2019)
Tax Exempt Status
Represented a client in an IRS action challenging the tax exempt status on the client's $9 million IDRB issued to finance production facility.
$1 Million AR Collection
Represented a client in a $1 million AR collection matter in Vietnam.
U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n as Trustee v. Lamb, et. al.
U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n as Trustee v. Lamb, et. al.; Iowa Supreme Court Case No. 14-1536 David Nelmark served as lead counsel, drafted appellate brief, and presented the oral argument in a case of first impression with significant impact on the banking and real estate industries. 874 N.W.2d 112 (Iowa 2016)
$100 Million Commodity Futures Claims
Represented clients in commodity futures claims over $100 million in conjunction with MF Global bankruptcy.
Commercial and Agricultural Collection Actions
Chris Bowler has assisted in the collection of secured and unsecured commercial and agricultural debts ranging in value from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. Chris’ collections experience includes pre-litigation case assessments; foreclosures by advertisement; drafting complaints and commencing lawsuits; early motions, such as replevin and foreclosure motions; discovery matters, including written discovery, depositions, and discovery motions; dispositive motions; and post-judgment collection efforts.
$13.5 Million Hog Facility Acquisition
In late 2018 and early 2019, Chris Bowler guided an agricultural producer through a transaction in which it acquired four hog facilities. The project involved attention to multiple unique aspects of the transaction, including real estate issues and interests, inventory and equipment purchases and related operational agreements.
- Supreme Court Recently Decided that Passive Retention of Property Does Not Violate Section 362(a)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code
- Case Law Update: Dishonest Debtors in Settlement Negotiations
- Third Round of PPP Funding Open, Banks with Assets of $1 Billion or Less Start Friday, January 15, 2021
- State Court Receivership: A Powerful Creditor’s Tool
- Marshaling of Assets: Old Doctrine Learns New Tricks
- Desperate Measures Call for an Extraordinary Response: Emergency Collection Actions
- Fair Credit Reporting Act Compliance
- Differences Between Note Co-Makers and Guarantors
- Questions and Answers: Navigating the Legal Issues You Face from the COVID-19 Pandemic
- The Minnesota Professional Firms Act–What is it, and does it apply to you?
- Joint Statement Provides Financial Institutions with Update Relaxing BSA-Compliance Practices
- A Primer on Agricultural Loans to Aid in Maintaining the Farmer-Lender Relationship
- Doing a Deal? Legal Due Diligence and the Crown Jewels
- Protecting the Bank from Fraud Supreme Court Weighs in on Two Fraud Exceptions to the Bankruptcy Discharge
- SBA Loan Sales
- I Was Served with a Garnishment Summons. Now What?
- Electronic Signatures
- Section 1031 Like Kind Exchanges After The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act
- Record Keeping and Documentation Can Make the Difference
- What’s an Internship Program?
- Financial Concepts for Small Business Owners
- Having a Gambler’s Outlook Could Help Entrepreneurs
- Crowdfunding and Commercial Real Estate Investments
- The Importance of Data Protection for Minnesota Companies
- Minnesota Startups and Venture Capital Alternatives
- Online Selling Platforms for Small Business Owners
- Minnesota Commerical Property Could Become Harder to Finance
- New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses
- Deceptive Trade Practices in Minnesota
- Creating a Successful Business Plan
- Errors to Avoid to Build a Successful Business Online
- How Small Investors Can Profit From Commercial Real Estate
- Business Planning for Longevity
- Planning an Exit Strategy for Minnesota Business Owners
- Navigate Complex Banking and Finance Matters With Confidence
- Negotiating a Settlement with the IRS
- Minnesota’s New Limited Liability Act
- The Legal Implications of Running a Family Business
- The Importance of Clearly Written Contracts
- What Types of Mergers Are There?
- Contract Dispute Results in Loss of 7 Channels
- The Right Business Structure for Entrepreneurs
- Business Competition Sees Boost in Female Participants
- Southwest Minnesota’s Economic, Business Conditions Improving
- Minnesota Manufacturers’ Optimism Rising
- Dissolving the Domestic Business Corporation in Minnesota