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Michael Kaemper Wins NM Court of Appeals Decision on Ranch Assets

Michael Kaemper won a NM Court of Appeals decision on March 7, 2023 for his clients in a contentious division of a Las Vegas, NM area ranching operation. The appellate court affirmed a 2022 state District Court decision to divide the large ranch assets based on a special master’s analysis and recommendation.

Mr. Kaemper represented the plaintiff minority LLC shareholders in the underlying litigation against the majority shareholders who opposed a reasonable partition of assets for his clients. A special master with ranching expertise was appointed by the Court at the recommendation of both sides in the dispute. The Court adopted the special master’s recommendations for the partition, and ordered that defendants also pay the plaintiffs’ attorney fees and costs for the protracted litigation due to an LLC agreement providing such relief. The defendants claimed the partition recommendation and court order gave the plaintiffs more than their fair share of the assets.

Based on the court order, the special master hired area cowboys to round up a sufficient number of scattered ranch cattle to pay plaintiffs in addition to the ranch land deeded to them in the partition. An appeal was filed, but the appellate court found that defendants failed to properly object to the special master’s recommendations even though the defendants were repeatedly provided opportunities to do so by the district court. The decision, No. A-1-CA-40245, is set to be published soon.

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