Monday, December 13, 2021

This Week on the Podcast: Express Grain

 Attorney Don Barrett appeared on The Jambalaya with the Kingfish Friday. Mr. Barrett represents a group of farmers victimized in the Express Grain fiasco. The Express Grain bankruptcy is going to have a $100-$200 million effect on the Delta economy.  Mr. Barrett was quite candid the answer to any and all questions about the subject. Enjoy.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I might have been sympathetic about the plight of the farmers here, until they hired Dickie Scruggs 2.0.

Anonymous said...

I care more about the sick deer.

Anonymous said...

Zeus is still allowed to practice law? WTF? Only in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me how the farmers can lose their grain to the bank after giving it to grain express but before getting paid?

Anonymous said...

Referring to oneself as 'THE kingfish'. What arrogance.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:50 - I believe the farmers sale their grain to the Grain Express and they do so on credit. The Bank had a lien on the grain and that lien would be superior to any claim the farmers would have.

Calm Down said...

@4:50 pm
The farmer sells his grain to Express Grain. The transaction occurs at the delivery of that grain to Express. At that point, Express has an unsecured accounts payable due to that farmer - it's not cash on delivery. At the point the bank forces Express into bankruptcy, all assets of Express are frozen and will be paid out according to the court. Generally, the court will recognize secured creditors (the banks) before paying any unsecured debts of Express (the farmers).

Kingfish said...

That question is answered in the podcast

Anonymous said...

So anytime you hand over your crop to the elevator you’re at risk of losing it all if the elevator declares bankruptcy. That ain’t right. Once you deliver your crop you should be guaranteed payment

Anonymous said...

Tough claim being made here by Barrett (yes, a reference to him as DS-2 is appropriate) to go after the out of state bank rather than the folks who misled the farmers, the grain elevator.

But as Barrett, as skilled trial lawyer stated, he went to the MO bank because he knew that the grain elevator had no assets - so like any good crook would answer when asked why they rob banks, he went to where the money is.

He can claim all day that his theory, which has been repeated here and elsewhere, that the bank knew that the elevator was broke but kept them operating until the silos were full, but proving that claim is going to take him getting a good Homes County jury "where verdicts are bought before the lawsuits are filed". (That quote not from Willie Sutton but Mississippi's own robber baron, Dickie Scruggs although he was referring to Jefferson County -- but there is little or no difference.)

Besides Mr Barrett making this claim and repeating it incessently, what gives rise to making it both believable and provable once he gets to court, assuming he will not get it to a favorable court like the one across the street from his Lexington office?

Anonymous said...

@6:36 welcome to the real world. I once owned a small engineering company. I’ve done work, sent an invoice, then not gotten paid because the clowns declared bankruptcy. It happens.

Anonymous said...

6:36 - obviously you don't understand the role of the elevator - an entity that holds the crop until it is sold.

Under your theory, if the farmer and the elevator agreed for a cash sale, that is - the elevator paying the farmer upon delivery based upon a price/bushel that day, less the handling cost of the elevator who will have to hold (store) the crop for a period of time and resulting in the elevator taking the gamble as to whether the per bushel price is going to go up or down during that time; then maybe your belief of what should happen could be the transaction.

But, farmers being farmers and playing the markets game - and the reality of the role of an elevator operation - this is not how the system works. There is some responsibility on the farmer to ensure that the place he is storing his crop is scrupulous, bonded, and financially sound.

That is, unless you find a good trial lawyer that will try to figure out a way to twist the responsibility to some deep pockets as 6:53 suggests.

Anonymous said...

What duty did the bank owe to the farmers? I can understand that the bank stands in a fiduciary relationship with its customers but does it owe any duty to farmers who are not bank customers?

Anonymous said...

Where is the Ag Commish these days? Hanging lights at the Ag museum????

Anonymous said...

One thing the readers don’t realize about Holmes county and all the jury verdicts is the plaintiff is always black.

Farmers in this region are not looked upon very favorably by the usual jury venire in Holmes county.

There is far more bluster here than actual substance…..but Don knows that.

The case will resolve but the sticky fingers of the trustee will always be on their shoulders.

Good theatre ğŸŽ­

Unknown said...

"So anytime you hand over your crop to the elevator you’re at risk of losing it all if the elevator declares bankruptcy. That ain’t right. Once you deliver your crop you should be guaranteed payment."

Uh, why not just let the farmer make whatever deal he wishes with whatever grain elevator he wishes? This is a voluntary transaction, not some forcibly mandated procedure.

Anonymous said...

Is this where Andy Gipson gets his financial backing for his run for Governor? I pray he doesn't win higher office.

Anonymous said...

Lawsuit will be heard in Holmes?

Kingfish said...

Holmes?

The UMB Bank lawsuit is filed in Federal Ct. in Jackson. The bankruptcy filing is in the northern district over in Aberdeen.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound like this case is about a fiduciary duty from the bank to the farmers.

It sounds like the bank and Grain Express conspired to defraud the Ag Commission and the farmers themselves by telling them that they were financially sound when they both knew they weren't.

In so doing, they got the farmers to deliver their crops to Grain Express, at which time, according to the plans of the conspiracy, Grain Express declared bankruptcy and allowed the bank to sell the crops to cover the loan.

Had they done what they should have done, i.e. be honest and tell everyone they were in financial trouble, Grain Express would have declared bankruptcy, farmers would have taken their crops elsewhere, and the bank would have been left with little to nothing for their loan.

Anonymous said...

@7:10 is correct. The bank had no relationship with the farmers that gave rise to a legal duty. In any event, the grain elevator principals repeatedly lied to the bank about the collateral available to secure the bank’s loans. In the end, very little grain was there.

Unknown said...

Be interesting to see what the audited financials the bank was getting said. I would assume that will come out in discovery. I would bet the financials said there was a substantial doubt the company would continue as a going concern. If that is the case the bank should have been calling the debt right then. If there wasn't any going concern wording then the audit firm could possibly be dragged into this mess.

Anonymous said...

@1:31, as you will learn, that was not the case.

Anonymous said...

@1:31, as you will learn, that was not the case.


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