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PA Supreme Court Grants Important Victory for Insurers Regarding CGL Coverage for Progressive Property Damage

In a comprehensive and sweeping opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed several key principles of commercial general liability (CGL) policy interpretation in Penn National v. St. John, decided on December 15, 2014....more

Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

Brownstein’s Annual Water Rights Compliance Checklist for 2015

This checklist provides a summary of state water right reporting requirements and applicable deadlines for users of surface or groundwater in California. If you have questions about the information contained in this...more

Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is considering a change to Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural Practices ("GAAMPs") that would compel beehive owners to "block" their apiaries from neighboring properties....more

Food Litigation Newsletter - December 2014 #2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Mott’s Defeats Class Certification in Apple Juice Labeling Fight ..Court Tentatively Approves Classes in ConAgra “Natural” Cooking Oil...more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator Helps Entrepreneurial Farmers

State Representative Joe Haveman recently announced the State of Michigan's $500,000 contribution to the new Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit. The Incubator offers specialized assistance to...more

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

Advice on Medical Marijuana for Lawyers in Pennsylvania

The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 811 et. seq. (CSA), enacted in 1970, provides that marijuana is a "Schedule I" drug because, in the words of the CSA, it has a "high potential for abuse," "no currently...more

Trade Facilitation Agreement On Track for Implementation

On November 27, the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted a decision to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA was the centerpiece of the Bali Package, which had been accepted at the...more

Court Holds Small Business Administration and Farm Service Agency Must Consult on Loan Guarantees

A federal district court in Arkansas recently issued a decision clarifying that the obligation to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) extends to the Small Business Administration and the Farm...more

The Great East/West Divide

I was honored to address the recent annual meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) in Reno, Nevada. Coming out west serves as a reminder of the chasm that exists between those Americans who earn...more

More GMO Woes: Another Corn Exporter Sues Syngenta for its Failure to Isolate its GMO Corn

Last month, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (“ADM”) joined a slew of corn exporters and other stakeholders who have sued Syngenta based on allegations that China rejected these exporters’ products because Syngenta’s genetically...more

Federal District Court Doubles Down, Vacates Hawaii County GMO Ban

On November 26, Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren struck down Hawaii County’s Ordinance 13-121, which restricts the open-air growth and cultivation of genetically engineered crops or plants (GMOs). See Slip Op. at 28. In this...more

Improving Australian Agricultural Competitiveness

The Commonwealth Government has released its Green Paper exploring a range of policy options to expand the competitiveness of the Australian agriculture sector and its share of the global market. The Green Paper serves...more

USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable...more

New Law Changes Special District Noticing Requirements for Terminating Service on Delinquent Accounts

Passage of AB 2747 by California Legislature Modifies Law - The noticing requirements special districts must follow to terminate delinquent residential light, heat, water or power service accounts were substantially...more

CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee to Meet on December 9

The Agricultural Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will convene on December 9 to discuss deliverable supplies of agricultural commodities and related implications for position limits and the...more

Seeds Worth More than Gold

Plant Breeders are Learning the Value of Protecting Their Inventions - Agricultural espionage: it’s not exactly the stuff of John le Carré novels. But recently a Chinese woman was charged in a plot to steal U.S. corn...more

Australia and China Free Trade Agreement

This week, following the successful hosting of the G20 summit, the Australian Federal Government signed a declaration of intention with China to bring into force a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The agreement...more

Unpaid Wage Claims for Pre- and/or Post-Work Activities: Leaving America's Heartland and Coming to a Corporate Environment Near...

It is nothing new for farms and manufacturing plants to find themselves subject to collective and/or class action lawsuits by employees claiming they should have been paid for time spent "donning and doffing" work clothes and...more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Are 'Aircraft' Once Again

On November 17, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reversed an administrative law judge’s decision that had called into question the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) authority to regulate Unmanned Aircraft...more

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards

On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 11/14

EPA Proposes To Remove 72 Chemicals From Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredients List: On October 22, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its...more

Beveridge & Diamond Wins Preemption Decision in Washington State Court of Appeals

Appellate litigators in Beveridge & Diamond’s District of Columbia office, working with the Washington Department of Ecology, secured a unanimous decision from the Washington Court of Appeals striking down a county ban on...more

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