Neither of us has ever spent this much time or money in a court house or with lawyers and we have both been divorced!
We started with one lawyer: Wilson’s sister. She has traditionally done all of the farm’s legal work, mostly just leases.
Then the parent farm needed a bankruptcy lawyer, and actually hired a team of two great lawyers, each with his own specialty. One is the fighter and in his element in the court room. He is the big-picture guy who sees the whole forest at once. The other is the details guy, the numbers man, the one who sees each individual tree.
Tally so far: three lawyers.
The bank that held the farm’s last several farm loans and is the largest creditor in the case brought along their own lawyer. (Note: his firm has since been fired. Hmmm)
Cue the Fourth Laywer.
When it came time to discuss the equipment lease between Frank Martin Farms and Wilson Judice Farms, the general consensus was that Wilson might need his own lawyer, one not at all biased towards any other party. While his sister is incredible at compartmentalizing her business and personal lives, we were all so very emotionally invested in this process that even she thought we needed outside help, just to be prudent.
Thus, Lawyer #5.
The land that is owned by the sugar mill and the group of local families and was farmed by FMF will be farmed by WJF so they were an integral part of the Chapter 12 proceedings. They hired one lawyer together and he also worked on their new leases with WJF.
We have gone with Wilson’s sister to the Tax Assessor’s office to research land owners and exact property descriptions. We have been in our parish FSA office to certify acres for WJF. We have been to the Clerk of Court’s office to file all of the paperwork necessary for the loans. All of these are in our parish courthouse. Between the lawyers’ offices and the courthouse, I’m pretty sure we should be able to pick up a paycheck there on Friday. We’ve done that much work there.
Pictures of “Progress”