Sunday, February 26, 2012

Retail Food Industry Speakers, Don Wiseman & Erik Lieberman

Don Wiseman, senior associate general counsel at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Erik Lieberman, senior regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute visited the LL.M. Program last week and each delivered a presentation on food law & policy issues from the perspective of the retail food industry.

Don Wiseman has practiced law for more than 30 years. He has served as a senior associate general counsel at Walmart, the largest food retailer in North America, since February 2009. He is the company's principal subject matter legal expert for food safety and regulatory compliance, as well as consumer product safety and compliance. Prior to joining Walmart, from 2003 through 2007, he was the senior vice president and general counsel of Swift Foods Co. of Greeley, Colo., the world's third-largest fresh beef and pork processor. From 1991 to 2003, he was the senior vice president and general counsel of Memphis-based Perkins Restaurants, the operator and franchisor of the 500-unit Perkins Restaurant and Bakery chain.

As the regulatory counsel for the Food Marketing Institute, Erik Lieberman represents the food retailing and wholesaling industries before federal agencies including the FDA, USDA, Department of Labor and Department of Justice. Erik lobbies against regulations that the industry views as burdensome and assists food retailers and wholesalers in complying with regulations that are enacted. Previously he served as the majority regulatory counsel for the House Small Business Committee. From 2004-2007, he was director of government affairs at the National Grocers Association. Prior to that, he served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. Erik has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and the Washington Post and regularly featured in trade and industry publications.

Our appreciation is extended to Don and Erik for presenting an informative session on retail perspectives. Our special guests to the LL.M. Program provide an important part of our curriculum, as they help us consider issues from all of the varying perspectives along the food chain, from farm to fork.

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