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Vital expertise for what matters.

Since he began practicing law in 1994, Dustan—a partner at Gislason & Hunter—has become both an experienced trial lawyer as well as a trusted advisor for his individual, financial and agribusiness clients in Minnesota, Iowa and throughout the Midwest. Graduating with highest honors from the University of Iowa College of Law, and serving as the Senior Articles Editor for the Iowa Law Review, Dustan began his career with Gislason & Hunter LLP, and has worked there ever since.

Dustan is an AV-Rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell. He has been rated a SuperLawyer for the past eight years. He has tried over 30 jury cases, numerous arbitrations and has handled litigation and corporate matters throughout the Midwest.

Dustan currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citizens Bank Minnesota and its holding company, Citizens Bancorporation of New Ulm, Inc. He is a member of the American Agricultural Law Association, the American Bar Association’s Agricultural and Corporate Litigation Sections and past president of the Ninth District Bar Association, New Ulm Library Board, New Ulm Country Club and the New Ulm Economic Development Corporation.

Dustan J. Cross

Rated by Super Lawyers

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Deleted: Dustan J. Cross

Rated by Super Lawyers
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Areas of Expertise

Agriculture Law & Agribusiness

  • Purchase & Leasing
  • Planning, Zoning & Land Use
  • Ag Financing & Debt Restructuring
  • Agribusiness Formation & Transactions
  • Agriculture Contracts
  • Ag Litigation
  • Agricultural Nuisance

Business & Corporate Law

  • Creditors' Rights
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Business Entity Law & Formation, including LLC’s, Partnerships and Corporations
  • Partner & Shareholder Agreements
  • Contracts
  • Purchase or Sale of Business
  • Commercial Real Estate

Finance & Banking

  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Loan Workouts
  • Loan Transactions
  • Collection Actions
  • Portfolio Management
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Employment & HR Consulting
  • Business Planning & Administration
  • Bank Litigation
  • Reorganization & Bankruptcy
  • Commercial Lending
  • Corporate Governance

Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Ownership Disputes & Dissolutions
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Business Torts Litigation
  • Banking Litigation
  • Property Disputes & Land Use
  • Estate & Probate

Real Estate, Environmental Law & Land Use

  • Eminent Domain
  • Transactions & Due Diligence
  • Financing
  • Compliance & Permitting
  • Land Use Zoning Disputes

Representative Litigation Experience

A representative sampling of his litigation experience (in all of which he served as lead counsel) includes the following:

  • Obtained a successful defense jury verdict on behalf of a swine integrator following a two-week trial alleging nuisance, negligence, and trespass;
  • Obtained a successful jury verdict for a Plaintiff business alleging lost profits arising from the breach of a non-solicitation provision in a joint venture contract, in which the jury awarded Plaintiff every dollar of damages requested;
  • Obtained a court award of $2.6 Million in damages following a 5-day bench trial for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust by one member of a closely held business;
  • Obtained an arbitration award in a two-week construction arbitration in which the award from the panel was $2.0 Million less than the Client’s final offer and $5.0 Million less than the claimant’s final demand;
  • Obtained a jury verdict in Client’s favor alleging violations of Iowa’s Blue Sky securities laws;
  • Obtained an arbitration award of $2.0 Million in client’s favor alleging breach of an inter-creditor participation agreement arising from a failed development project;
  • Successfully litigated a contested 5-day motion to appoint a Trustee in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy involving a $100.00 Million failed multi-state dairy operation;
  • Litigated a major Trademark dispute in Federal Court involving two major retailers claiming entitlement to exclusive use of a tag line that they had both used for years, which was resolved on the eve of trial;
  • Successfully litigated a break-up of a family business involving multiple claims of breach of fiduciary duty and oppression of minority shareholders;
  • Litigated 5-years of litigation on behalf of a bank client being sued by former borrowers on multiple theories of lender liability, all of which were dismissed including sanctions against the former borrower and borrower’s counsel; and
  • Have litigated multiple will contests and trust litigation.

Representative Corporate and Regulatory Experience

In addition to his trial experience, Dustan also has a long history of representing numerous financial and corporate institutions in various corporate and regulatory matters. A representative sampling of some of his more recent experience in these areas includes:

  • Served as general counsel for a $100.00 Million per Year Cooperative Agri-Business serving Southern Minnesota;, including providing comprehensive governance advice; handling all litigation and contract matters on behalf of the client; and providing extensive advice concerning environmental compliance matters;
  • Reviewed and revised a $22.0 billion financial institution’s entire home mortgage program to comply with all applicable state and federal laws, including amending and updating all multi-state forms and agreements, revising and modifying its broker program and documents and revising the institution’s loan officer compensation program for compliance with recently revised TILA regulations and other applicable law;
  • Advised a client extensively regarding the potential acquisition of a competitor’s business with an estimated purchase price in excess of $500 Million;
  • Provide ongoing regulatory and eligibility advice and opinions to various Farm Credit System institutions on a wide-range of topics; and
  • Serves as corporate counsel for numerous closely held corporations, LLCs, limited and general partnerships, and other organizations.

Representative Publications and Seminar Presentations:

As part of his commitment to his Clients’ needs to appreciate and understand ongoing developments in the law, Dustan is also a frequent presenter and publisher of materials directed to educating his clients and others about all legal matters of interest to them. A representative sampling of some of his publications includes the following:

  • Documentation and Collateralization Lending to Integrated Livestock Producers
  • Review of UCC Article 9; Statutory Liens; Priority Issues and Central Notification; Making Sure you are on First
  • Condemnation Under Minnesota Law
  • Collection – Liquidation Procedures and Ethical Considerations: An Overview
  • The Impact to Employers of Minnesota’s New Torts of Invasion of Privacy
  • Spoliation of Evidence
  • Privacy Issues Relating to Disclosure of Borrower’s Financial Information
  • The Impact to Employers of Minnesota’s New Torts of Invasion of Privacy
  • The Impact to Insurers of Minnesota’s New Torts of Invasion Privacy
  • Collection Actions – Enforcement of Judgment Issues
  • Collateral Insurance Issues for Minnesota Creditors
  • Overview of Insurance Fundamentals
  • The Clean Water Act, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, and Livestock Producers
  • Liability Insurance Coverage Issues for Livestock Producers
  • Contract Issues – Grain Delivery Contracts Issues and Enforcement
  • Loan Participations and Syndications
  • Select Issues Regarding Lender Liability
  • Regulations in Flux: The EPA’s Ongoing Attempts to Regulate Animal Livestock Producers through its NPDES Permitting Program
  • GIPSA’s New Regulations for Swine Production Contracts
  • Undercover Video Re: Livestock Production

Experience

  • 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)

  • Successful Defense Jury Verdict

    Dustan Cross obtained a successful defense jury verdict on behalf of a swine integrator following a two-week trial alleging nuisance, negligence, and trespass.

  • Successful Jury Verdict

    Dustan Cross obtained a successful jury verdict for a Plaintiff business alleging lost profits arising from the breach of a non-solicitation provision in a joint venture contract, in which the jury awarded Plaintiff every dollar of damages requested.

  • $2.6 Million Awarded in Damages

    Dustan Cross obtained a court award of $2.6 Million in damages following a 5-day bench trial for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust by one member of a closely held business.

  • Construction Arbitration

    Dustan Cross obtained an arbitration award in a two-week construction arbitration in which the award from the panel was $2.0 Million less than the Client's final offer and $5.0 Million less than the claimant's final demand.