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Pair of partners might prevail after 20 years of court battles

People who have been involved with business litigation know that satisfaction can take a long time to achieve. While patience is a virtue, some people might find that patience is wearing thin after two decades.

However, for two partners in an apartment complex, 21 years of business litigation appears to be about to pay off. A judge ruled that three of their partners, two brothers and their cousin, cheated the two partners who sued out of the revenues they should have been receiving.

Making the case all the more noteworthy is that the two brothers are the principal owner and president, respectively, of an even larger business: the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.

The judge has not ruled on the damages in the case yet, but she did conclude that the family, the Wilfs, committed fraud and violated a state racketeering law in their dealings with their partners in the apartment complex. The two plaintiffs in the case were seeking more than $50 million in damages, but it remains to be seen how much they might receive -- or what impact the case will have on the Vikings.

The Wilfs successfully help push through a bill in the Minnesota Legislature for a new stadium to be built for the team, but ground has yet to be broken on the nearly $1 billion project.

A case such as this one shows the value of having a dogged attorney throughout the potentially lengthy business litigation process. The potential reward for doing so here may be very big.

Source: Associated Press, "Judge: Vikings owner cheated NJ project partners," Aug. 6, 2013

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