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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

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

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

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

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

Do Takes of the Utah Prairie Dog Affect Interstate Commerce? Only When McDonalds Starts Serving Prairie Burgers

Earlier this week, in a suit brought by the beautifully named People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners, Judge Dee Benson ruled that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service could not regulate takes of the Utah...more

Court Holds Congress Lacks Power to Regulate Take of Intrastate Species that Has No Substantial Effect on Commerce

On November 4th, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah invalidated the special rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regulating take of the threatened Utah prairie dog, a species that only...more

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The California Strawberry Commission’s Claim to University Plant Breeding Research

Plant patents are often overshadowed by their more well-known utility and design patent counterparts under U.S. law. Yet, with the increasing branding and differentiation of agricultural commodities, plant patent rights...more

Agricultural Cooperative Antitrust Litigation Continues to Mushroom

Pennsylvania District Court certifies five year ruling for interlocutory appeal, that mushroom cooperative is not immune from antitrust claims based upon “advice of counsel” argument. In Re Mushroom Direct Purchaser...more

A Warehouse Full of Unapproved Genetically-Modified Seeds; Now What?

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit addressed allegations of breach and false advertising against an agricultural product storage and transport company,...more

Mushroom Court Ruling Sprouts Controversy on Whether Reliance on Lawyer Advice Maintains Affirmative Defense to Antitrust Claims

A federal district court recently ruled that claims of “good faith reliance on counsel” were not sufficient to maintain a Capper-Volstead affirmative defense to the antitrust laws – a result that may soon collide with rulings...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - October 2014 #2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Court rules that ‘Kosher’ suit poses religious question; dismisses with prejudice ..Settlement terms approved in stevia sweetener...more

Mushroom Growers Denied Capper-Volstead Antitrust Immunity

On October 14, 2014, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion for reconsideration brought by members and affiliates of the former Eastern Mushroom Marketing Cooperative (EMMC). In re Mushroom Direct Purchaser...more

Beveridge & Diamond Secures Pennsylvania Supreme Court Review in Toxic Tort Case

Litigators in the Firm’s Washington, DC office persuaded the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to grant an appeal in a tort case in which 34 plaintiffs allege that the land application of biosolids to farmland created a nuisance and...more

Northern District of California Grants Certification of Antitrust Class in 15 of 16 Jurisdictions Pursuant to Dukes and Comcast;...

In a recent case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, plaintiffs brought a putative class action against various defendants involved in milk production, alleging they violated the...more

Sixth Circuit rules cows can be leased

Can you really lease a cow? - According to the Sixth Circuit, the answer is “yes.” Dairy cattle leasing is an increasingly popular method for producers to add to their herds while conserving capital for other purposes....more

Hawaii G-M-O: Kauai County GMO Regs Struck Down in Federal Court

Throughout the year, this space has periodically re-visited the topic of regulating the manufacture and labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) at the state and federal level. This week, a lawsuit out...more

Executive Labor Summary - July/August 2014

NLRB extends Weingarten right of union representation to drug and alcohol test situations - On July 31, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board in Ralph's Grocery Co. ruled that a union-represented...more

Got (Raw) Milk? How About Jurisdiction? Something's Sour in the Raw-Milk Case

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals released its unpublished opinion in Farm-To-Consumer v. Wis. DATCP, 11AP2264, a closely watched case involving Wisconsin’s regulation of raw-milk production. A couple of local farmers...more

UPDATE: D.C. Circuit Clarifies Standard for Required Factual Disclosures

The D.C. Circuit issued its en banc opinion in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Court agreed with the panel's decision and specifically held that the test for assessing government mandates...more

Rural Nevada Anti-Fracking Group Seeks to Enjoin Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Reese River Basin Citizens Against Fracking filed a complaint in federal court on June 27, seeking to enjoin the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from holding an oil and gas lease sale. The rural group is...more

US Supreme Court Denied Certiorari Regarding the Constitutionality of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Today, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari regarding the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey. ...more

Of Characterization and Common Sense: Court Holds That Erroneous Interpretation of Allegations of Complaint Doom Counterclaim to...

In In Re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:08-Md.-02002-GP (E.D. Pa., June 10, 2014), the plaintiffs alleged that they purchased eggs from the defendant egg producing cooperatives, and that the plaintiffs had...more

Milk Processors Soured After Federal District Court Rules They Must Face Monopsonization Claims at Trial

Nearly five years into a wide-ranging monopsonization suit accusing milk processors of conspiring to depress and fix the prices paid to independent and cooperative milk suppliers, Judge Christina Reiss of the District of...more

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