Tuesday, June 5, 2012

UCLA, Animal Law, & LL.M. Alum Michael Roberts

I recently was honored to speak on a panel organized by LL.M. Alumnus, Michael Roberts.  The conference was in Los Angeles, at the UCLA Law School, and the conference topic was, Animals & the Law: Multiple Perspectives. Our panel focused on Food Policy: Implications for Animals and Animal Law.

The conference was excellent.  Much credit goes to conference organizer, UCLA Law Professor Taime L. Byrant. There were three diverse panels. Top legal scholars presented on First Amendment issues and on philosophical issues underpinning the animal rights movement. The presentations were thought provoking and informative. Our panel addressed food policy issues affecting the livestock industry.  Michael spoke on private standards in the food industry, and I spoke on the recent legal developments regarding antibiotic use in livestock production. Bill Stallings spoke on the U.S. Justice Department antitrust actions involving the meat industry. Bill is Chief of the Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture (TEA) Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. TEA's responsibility for the enforcement of the antitrust laws and the promotion of competition includes agricultural commodities such as livestock, grain, and seeds.

Before the conference, I was particularly delighted to get a chance to catch up with Michael Roberts. Michael teaches Consumer Food Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law. He has contributed to numerous books and academic journals on food regulation, trade, and policy issues and is currently writing a treatise provisionally titled, The Oxford Commentaries on American Law: Food Law, to be published by Oxford University Press, Inc.  He serves as Director of the Center for Food Law and Policy (CFLP), a newly formed non-profit organization that advances thoughtful policymaking through innovative legal scholarship on food law and policy.

Michael is Special Counsel to the Roll Global LLC, a law firm that exclusively represents Roll Global Corporation, a private holding company headquartered in Los Angeles. Roll's farming and food companies are global leaders in their respective product lines, employing more than 5,000 people world-wide. Michael is responsible for global food regulation, trade, and public policy. He has offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

The evening before the conference, Michael was an excellent Los Angeles host.  He gave me a tour of the impressive Roll International building where he works, where where Roll owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick house part of their world class art collection, a tour of the beautiful UCLA campus, and a walking tour of the Santa Monica pier.  My thanks to Michael for the opportunity to speak at an excellent conference and for welcoming me to Los Angeles.

One more reason to be so very proud of our alumni.

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