Small Group Transactional Lunches Provide Hands-on Learning

The Business and Transactional Law Center hosted a series of Small Group Transactional Lunches in October 2015 that gave students the opportunity for hands-on learning and a bridge to practice. The sessions provided skills training in negotiating and drafting LLC agreements, evaluating the merits of a case when deciding whether to litigate, and preparing for a real estate closing. Students interested in business and transactional law were able to learn from Washburn Law alumni who are expert practitioners.

Photograph: Bradley Haddock.Bradley Haddock, '80, shared some of his extensive transactional, litigation, and arbitration experience during his "Negotiating and Drafting LLC Agreements" session on October 1. Students studied documents for the acquisition of a medium-sized industrial technology company provided by Haddock in advance. During lunch Haddock walked the students through an LLC operating agreement and the accompanying contribution and formation agreement. The students learned how to identify the key issues to both parties, as well as how the documents might work in the event of later litigation involving the technology in question.

Haddock founded Haddock Law Office, LLC in 2009. Prior to that he served as the executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Koch Chemical Technology Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., the largest privately held company in the United States. Haddock served as lead counsel for several key businesses, including Koch's refining, chemicals, and asphalt businesses, and the group of 10 global manufacturing and engineering businesses that became KCTG. While at Koch, he led or significantly participated in more than 65 domestic and international acquisitions.

Photograph: Paul Hoferer.Paul Hoferer, '75, joined students at lunch on October 6 where he provided guidance about "How to Assess a Lawsuit" and shared insights from his perspective as an in-house counsel. He walked the students through a checklist that he devised to help assess a company's potential financial liability in a lawsuit. Hoferer worked through potential damages and how to balance the various factors that might affect the value of a settlement offer.

Hoferer spent 42 years with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (BNSF) as vice president and general counsel before retiring in 2008. While at BNSF he was responsible for nearly 3,000 lawsuits handled by over 100 law firms throughout the United States and Canada. Subsequently, Hoferer was of-counsel with Lathrop and Gage, LLP in Kansas City, Missouri, for several years. He is a member of the Washburn University Board of Regents.

Photograph: Dan Crow.Daniel Crow, '93, a Topeka attorney who also holds a real estate broker license, gave an hour of his time to educate current law students about commercial real estate transactions in his "Understanding Commercial Property Transactions from a HUD 1 Closing Statement Perspective" presentation on October 26. During the lunch hour, students carefully reviewed the items of a commercial real estate settlement statement (HUD-1) as a roadmap to the costs and disbursements from a real estate transaction. The students became familiar with the layout and content of the standard HUD-1 form and also took a look at the new "Know Before You Owe" forms that as of October 2015 are required for residential real estate financings (per Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mandates). By making sense of the settlement statements, students were able to trace where the money goes in a real estate financing so that they can review and confirm the content of this critical component of a mortgage closing. In addition to getting to know the settlement statement formats, students learned about the consumer 3-day rescission period and to what extent last minute changes to settlement statements are permitted.

Crow is a partner at Alderson, Alderson, Weiler, Conklin, Burghart & Crow, L.L.C. in Topeka, but his experience with real estate goes back before he even went to law school when he worked as a realtor with Kirk & Cobb. His practice includes a wide variety of business transactions, including real estate and business and estate planning.