Saturday, September 12, 2009

Highlights From the Bill Marler Visit

Celebrating both our 30th class and the inclusion of "Food Law" into our name and curriculum, the School of Law was delighted to host Bill Marler, food safety expert and food poisoning litigator.

Mr. Marler taught the two-hour Food Law & Policy class Friday morning to a packed room. Faculty, students, and representatives from the food industry throughout Northwest Arkansas were in attendance as Mr. Marler delivered an excellent presentation on his food borne illness litigation practice. His PowerPoint presentation not only covered the legal fundamentals but provided a moving tribute to the suffering of his clients, people severely injured and permanently disabled by food borne illness.

Following his class, Mr. Marler met with Archie Schaffer III, Executive VP Corporate Affairs, Tyson Foods, Inc., and Christine Daugherty, an attorney with Tyson’s Legal Department to discuss Tyson Foods' safety initiatives. And, he met the director and staff of the National Center for Agricultural Law, a research center at the School of Law.

Mr. Marler had lunch with our LL.M. candidates and conducted an informal question and answer session. Questions ranged from specific inquiries about his cases and his clients to broad issues of public policy and ethics. His visit was capped off with a session with the J.D. staff and candidates for the Journal of Food Law & Policy.

Mr. Marler's visit was inspiring not only because of his incredible success as a litigator but because of what he does with that success. As a tireless advocate for food safety reform, new food safety initiatives, and more effective regulation of food borne illness, he is using both his fame and his fortune to improve our food system. For example, the Marler blog has become a central source of information, and beginning Monday, September 14, he launches a new online newspaper, Food Safety News. And, he will be sponsoring the China International Food Safety & Quality Conference November 4-5 2009 in Bejing.

We are grateful for Mr. Marler's visit and hope we will have the opportunity for collaboration in the future.

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