Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jason Klinowski Selected to Help Defend Midamar Corporation

Midamar Corp.

Jason Klinowski was selected to join the team assembled to defend Midamar Corporation against certain allegations of criminal violations of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act and other related charges.  In connection with this engagement, I had the opportunity to travel to Iowa to visit Midamar and members of the Aossey family.  After doing so, I can attest to how much the family cares about their commitment to the Islamic community and the products they sell to their customers.  The Aossey family has built a remarkable company and I am very proud to be associated with Midamar Corporation!


Jason Klinowski Joins Wallace, Jordan Ratliff & Brandt LLC


Jason is pleased to announce that he has joined the law firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt LLC.  Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Wallace & Jordan is a mid-size, full service law firm committed to providing excellent service in a cost-effective, responsive, and resourceful manner.

Please note Jason’s new contact information:

Jason R. Klinowski, Esq.


First Commercial Bank Building

800 Shades Creek Parkway, Suite 400

Birmingham, Alabama  53209

D: (205) 874-0371

C: (312) 375-6849

F: (205) 874-3287


Jason Klinowski Quoted in “AndNowUKnow’s” Recent Article on Pro’s Ranch Markets Bankruptcy

anuk-reg-logoOn May 30, 2013, Eric Anderson of AndNowUKnow published an article discussing the Pro’s Ranch Markets bankruptcy case.

Here is a link to Eric’s article: Pro’s Ranch Markets Files for Bankruptcy with an Anticipated $7,229.773 in PACA Claims.  The article noted that “documents filed with the court note that the company has currently estimated current assets to be between $0 to $50,000 and has estimated liabilities to potentially reach $50 million.”

Quoting Jason, Eric’s article commented upon the Debtor’s asset to debt ratio and warned that:

 “If the Debtor’s Voluntary Petition accurately reflects the amount of assets in the Debtor’s estate, the PACA creditors would be well advised to quickly object to the Debtor’s use of cash collateral and to start working to identify alternative sources of recovery,” Attorney at Freeborn & Peters LLP,Jason Klinowski, tells AndNowUKnow. “These alternative recovery sources could include the Debtor’s bank, the principals of the Debtor, etc.”

Is My Produce Buyer Creditworthy?

CreditworthinessNothing is more important to a produce company’s cash flow than ensuring the creditworthiness of its customers.  This statement begs the question:

How do I evaluate a buyer’s creditworthiness?

First, make sure your buyer has a PACA license and that the license is in good standing with the USDA.  To do this, simply go to the USDA’s website ( and search for your buyer.  If your buyer is a PACA licensee you will be able to see a summary report of their license, which has key information about the buyer.  Specifically, you will be able to see the buyer’s license number, the status of the license, the buyer’s business name and trade names, the buyers contact information, branch office information, and the principal of the buyer.  All of this information is free to those who know where to look and those who bother to look.

Your due diligence does not stop here.  The next step is for you to use either (or both) the Blue Book Services or the Red Book Credit Service to get credit and trade information about your buyer.  For those of you who do not know, the Blue Book Services and the Red Book Credit Services are companies who publish credit information about produce companies.  If one or both of these books list your buyer, you will be able to see whether that buyer possesses an industry credit rating and to what extent others extend credit to your buyer.  You may also be able to see how quickly the buyer pays its bills or if there are payment problems associated with your buyer.  With that said, it is important to note that not all payment problems are the result of financial problems.  Credit reporting agencies generally do not distinguish between a buyer’s inability to pay and a buyer’s legitimate refusal to pay an invoice.  As you can see, we are developing a buyer profile that helps us predict the amount of risk associated with a given buyer.

Next, you should take the information you have gathered thus far and look to the buyer’s secretary of state (usually the state in which the buyer is located, but not always) for copies of any publicly available incorporation documents, which are often online.  These documents show the buyer’s organizational structure (e.g. company, partnership, LLC, etc.) and they name the buyer’s registered agent.  A quick review of the buyer’s incorporation documents will tell you whether the company is in good standing and where you need to go to chase them for money, if needed.

Not to sound obvious, but it never hurts to simply spend time researching your buyer on the internet.  Look for articles about the buyer, look to see if the buyer maintains a website, look for any negative press about the buyer, look the buyer on various social media outlets, etc.  Gather as much information as you can about each buyer and save it in your client file.  You should also update this information from time-to-time.

Lastly, you can always call the PACA and ask a representative whether there are any pending PACA cases against your buyer at the USDA.  The representative may not give you too many details, but they will tell you whether there are any cases against your buyer for non-payment.

Every produce company should set up a due diligence process designed to help the company evaluate the creditworthiness of its customers.  The time invested in learning about your customers will help you make good credit decisions and will greatly reduce the amount of bad debt on your books.  As you know, a sale is never complete until you are paid in full.