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Express Grain Bankruptcy Court sanctions Don Barrett in flap with UMB Bank

Friday, March 25, 2022, 3:11 pm News Flash Archive

This afternoon, the bankruptcy court in the Express Grain case ruled in favor of UMB Bank in its motion to sanction attorney Don Barrett for violating the protective order the court imposed on confidential documents filed in the case.

The court ordered as follow:

Motion granted. UMB to submit invoice for costs and fees by April 1, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST. Court will allow three calendar days for Mr. Barrett to respond to reasonableness of claim. Court to prepare order detailing its bench ruling and assessing dollar amount sanctions within 14 days of this date.

UMB Bank claimed that Mr. Barrett, an attorney from Lexington who is suing UMB Bank for allegedly conspiring with Express Grain to cheat the farmers out of their grain, went on the Paul Gallo Show March 17 and repeated information from confidential documents subject to the court's protective order. See our previous reporting here: UMB Bank goes after attorney Don Barrett in Express Grain bankruptcy case

Mr. Barrett filed his response yesterday, claiming he had not breached the protective order or disclosed anything from the confidential files.

Mr. Barrett stated:

The fact that documents have been produced is a matter of public record through this court's docket entries. The undersigned [Don Barrett] did not quote or discuss or paraphrase the content of any document in particular.

...UMB complains that the undersigned counsel -- in UMB's words -- "purported to paraphrase some of those documents and proclaimed that UMB made certain statements in those documents." But the undersigned counsel did not reference any document nor state that he had a document that he was paraphrasing. UMB's motion does not assert that the undersigned did so, because he did not. Notably, UMB does not (because it cannot) identify any document that was paraphrased nor any specific statement that is somehow in violation of the Protective Order.

...Discussion of the bank's wicked intentions does not relate to documents and is not protected or covered by the scope of the Protective Order.

...UMB merely seeks to protect its tortious misconduct from public knowledge. This is not a sound public purpose warranting a departure from the general rule that the United States' federal courts are, indeed, open to the public.

The undersigned did not discuss any particular document. The undersigned is aware of the Protective Order and its language, intended to comply with it, tried to comply with it, and in good faith believes that he has complied with it. Under no circumstances would the undersigned have willfully or intentionally violated any order of this Honorable Court.

Mr. Barrett's response may be seen here: Barrett Response to UMB Bank's Motion to Enforce Protective Order

The UMB Bank motion did not specify what document they believed Don Barrett was referring to, but most likely the statement the bank believes discloses information from protected documents is this particular one:

Don Barrett: "from documents that we've seen that are filtering out, they knew exactly what was going on, as late as the first part of July of 2021, again, [at that time] no grain had been put into the Express Grain Terminal where the bank could get its hands on it, and they were talking about, we have documents they were talking about the terrible financial shape of Express Grain, and they mentioned that 'the bins are empty now, but we know in September they'll be full.' Now why would they mention that, if that wasn't part of their program, part of their plan, to seize this grain that belonged to somebody else?"

UMB Bank stated in its motion that it would provide the court with a link to the interview.

And apparently, Judge Selene Maddox did not accept Mr. Barrett's defenses.

Mr. Barrett will have to pay UMB Bank for its cost and expenses in bringing the motion. The dollar amount of the sanctions and the costs she will impose have yet to be determined.


To read all our coverage of the Express Grain bankruptcy case, see here: Index of Express Grain articles


John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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