Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan, Ltd. is pleased to announce that our firm has been appointed Prosecutor for the City of Eden Prairie effective January 1, 2013.
Mark Johnson, Joseph Nilan and Davis Kessler recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of one of the firm’s clients in the United States District Court, dismissing an insured bank’s coverage claim under a financial institution bond. The bank incurred losses exceeding one million dollars in connection with an equipment financing lease for sound and light equipment at a nightclub in Maplewood, Minnesota. It was not until the lease went into default that the bank discovered the fraud perpetrated by the club’s owner. When the bank attempted to enforce a personal guaranty from the nightclub’s mother, it discovered that the guaranty was purportedly forged. In dismissing the bank’s coverage claim, the Court made a key distinction between the financial institution bond’s reliance requirement and the requirement that the bank have “actual physical possession” of the allegedly forged document. While there was some evidence that a low-level employee had physical possession of the guaranty, the evidence was undisputed that the responsible lending officers never had possession of the original guaranty before the credit decision was made. To quote the Court’s opinion, because the “loan decision makers” never saw the original guaranty, they “could not have relied on the original documents,” and therefore the bank failed to meet all of the coverage requirements under the financial institution bond. The District Court’s decision is the latest in a line of cases in which GRJN attorneys have successfully defended complex insurance coverage issues on behalf of its clients.
Joe Nilan and Joshua Dorothy recently obtained a favorable Minnesota District Court judgment on behalf of one of the firm's City clients. This important decision established the City's clear right to maintain and use a roadway, the threatened closure of which might have cut-off the exclusive access for nine property owners, both residential and commercial. The legal victory ends a dispute that had been simmering for 11 years, and required the attorneys involved to bring a host of legal skills to the table, including knowledge in the areas of property and municipal law, as well as considerable courtroom skills. In order to prevail in the case, Joe and Joshua were required to examine property records in the vicinity going back almost 100 years, to consider the impact of a nearby railroad, and to argue statutory construction.
Richard Rosow has been appointed City Attorney for the City of Prior Lake. Ric, who serves as City Attorney for the City of Eden Prairie, the City of Savage and Counsel to Southwest Transit, was chosen from a field of ten applicants for the position.
Mark Johnson will appear at the American Bar Association’s Fall Fidelity Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut on November 8, 2012, to present a paper entitled “The New Theft Based Upon Employee Dishonesty Coverage-Bold Step Forward, A Wholesale Retreat.” This presentation is Mark’s third appearance as a speaker and author before the American Bar Association’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee and the Fidelity Law Association on topics of interest in the field of fidelity law.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a decision obtained by Dan Gregerson and Matt Nelson, who successfully litigated the issue of an untimely claim under a contractor’s surety bond. The Court affirmed the trial court’s decision in ruling that an untimely subcontractor claim (beyond 120 days after the last supply of labor, materials or equipment) was not excused by the lack of direct language in the bond document relating to timeliness requirements as a condition precedent to recovery.
Joe Nilan obtained a judgment in bankruptcy court which excepted from discharge the debt obligation of the bankruptcy petitioner on the basis that contract balances, received and controlled by the petitioner, were trust funds and that the trust funds had not been directed to the satisfaction of trust obligations.
Emeric Dwyer, a 2006 Cum Laude graduate of Hamline School of Law and Sarah Schwarhoff, a 2008 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, have joined the firm as associate attorneys. Both Emeric and Sarah have substantial prior legal experience and will practice primarily in the areas of litigation and municipal law, respectively.
Joshua Dorothy, former chair of Tempo, Minnesota Opera’s Young Professionals Group, is a recently appointed member of the Minnesota Opera’s Corporate Gift Committee.
June 22, 2012 - MN National Guard Buys Lunch:
On June 22, 2012, the Minnesota National Guard brought us lunch. We were served MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) that soldiers are given in the field. The MRE comes complete with a main entree, powdered drink, snacks, bread, cheese and dessert. In addition they all come with an air activated heating pad (industrial size hand warmers) for heating the entree. You need a rock however to set the pad on so we ate the entrees cold, which they are set up to do. Each MRE pack was different. You might wonder now why they came to our office to do this. The season the Minnesota Twins held their home opener in the new Target Field, the National Guard was asked to participate in the flag ceremony. A large contingent of the National Guard carried a huge American Flag out onto the field and unfurled it for the singing of the National Anthem. Then they were all escorted OUT of the stadium and watched the game on TV. The Twins did not give them tickets to the game after using them to open the new stadium. We called the National Guard the next day and offered some of our personal tickets and our law firm tickets to the Guard. We have continued to do that since then. The National Guard has been very appreciative and wanted to show their thanks. The officer we deal with distributes the tickets to Guard Members and assures us that they are not used for officers or the “higher up officials, but the rank and file.
During lunch we asked a few questions about the Minnesota National Guard. They are considered one of the finest and most highly trained Guards in the country. When the President needs a National Guard unit for a special assignment, the Minnesota Guard is often called upon. There are 11,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard. Over 90% of them have been called into active service in Afghanistan or Iraq. If you want to participate in this ticket effort, you can purchase those tickets off the Twins site for upcoming games and we can help facilitate getting them to the Guard. Several National Guard Members literally come to our office the day we call and pick up the tickets. Or if you don't want to deal with the hassle of purchasing tickets you can contact us and we'll purchase the tickets for you either from the Twins or from tickets we have that are available and make the donation to the National Guard in your name.