Sunday, October 25, 2015

Annual Agricultural Law Conference in South Carolina

The LL.M. Program was once again well represented at the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) Annual Educational Symposium. The event was held October 21-23 in Charleston, South Carolina at the historic Francis Marion Hotel. It was very well attended -  over 280 registered participants. The symposium was organized by LL.M. alumna Beth Crocker, who served as President-elect during 2014-15 and now begins her service as AALA President.  Congratulations on such a successful conference, Beth!

I'll post some photos later, but for now, here is our LL.M. involvement stats -

Six of the speakers at the conference were professors in the LL.M. Program:

  • David Grahn -  2015 Farm Bill Update, and Crop Insurance
  • Neil Hamilton - Water Law: Update on Des Moines Water Works Litigation; and Land Ownership and Duties Related to Stewardship of Land and Water
  • Phil Harris - 2015 Tax Law Update, and Succession, Estate Planning & Trusts 101
  • Bill Marler, Keynote Address: 22 Years in the Kitchen
  • Susan Schneider - 2015 Food Law Update 
  • Allen Olson - Agricultural Law & Climate Change

Twenty-three LL.M. alumni were in attendance, and most presented to the conference or were involved in planning the conference:
Terry Centner, University of Georgia
Marne Coit, OFA-NY
Alli Condra, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Amy Cornell, Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.
Beth Crocker, Clemson University
Jason Foscolo, Foscolo & Handel PLLC
Andy Frame, Adams and Reese, LLP
Paul Goeringer, University of Maryland
Lauren Handel, Foscolo & Handel PLLC
Stan Lawson, Stanley R. Lawson P.C.
Cara McNab, USDA RMA
Ashley Newhall, University of Maryland
Allen Olson, Allen Olson Law Firm
Alison Peck, WVU College of Law
Jeff Peterson, Gray, Plant, Mooty PA (serving on the AALA Board of Directors)
Ross Pifer, Penn State Law
Harrison Pittman, National Agricultural Law Center
Beth Rumley, National Agricultural Law Center
Rusty Rumley, National Agricultural Law Center
Chris Saunders, North Carolina General Assembly
Susan Schneider, University of Arkansas School of Law
Ray Watson, Illinois
Jennifer Zwagerman, Drake Law School (serving on the AALA Board of Directors)
Six current LL.M. student were in attendance, with two also serving on panels as moderators. These students included:

  • Emma Hempstead, (moderating the Climate Change panel)
  • Mike Hoffman, Michael Hoffman, P.C. (moderating the Sustainable Land Use / Land Tenure panel) 
  • Satoko Kato
  • Mark Opanasiuk
  • Edward Peterson
And, three alumni serve in AALA leadership positions:  AALA President, Beth Crocker and AALA Board Members, Jeff Peterson and Jennie Zwaggerman.

It was wonderful to catch up with so many friends and to meet so many people interested in our work. Lots of good conversations with people who are interested in taking our LL.M. classes either as degree candidates or on a non-degree basis.  It is truly a good time to be practicing agricultural and food law.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Farewell to our Friend and Mentor, David Lambert

I awoke yesterday morning to the sad news that our friend, David Lambert, had passed away.

David was recognized internationally as an expert in global food security, and he was a passionate advocate in the fight against world hunger. A native Arkansan, David was principal of Lambert Associates, a Washington, D.C., public affairs consulting firm providing strategic policy advice to United Nation’s agencies, land-grant universities and the U.S. private sector on issues related to global food security, child nutrition, food safety and agricultural biotechnology. He served as a Distinguished Fellow at Iowa State University’s Seed Science Center and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America.  He was very proud to have served as Foreign Agricultural Service Counselor to the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies during the Clinton Administration.

David's message on Ending World Hunger is available on the Clinton School of Public Service website.  Two of his recent articles appeared in the University of Arkansas School of Law's Journal of Food Law & Policy, The Quest to End Hunger in Our Time: Can Political Will Catch up with our Core Values? and Global Food Security: In Our National Interest.  Our LL.M. students were pleased to assist him with his Journal publications, offering our students the opportunity to work with him on issues of such great importance. He was scheduled to be in Iowa this past week as part of the World Food Prize Lecture Series, delivering an address, A Closer Look at Global Food Security: Why Science Matters.

Whenever attending a conference or meeting in Washington D.C., David would delight in introducing me and our work in the LL.M. Program to everyone he knew.  He encouraged us to develop our global food security curriculum and to address world hunger in our studies, and both are now core aspects of our Program.  I was looking forward to seeing him this Spring and telling him about our new Right to Food class and our hopes for a Global Food Security and the Rule of Law Initiative. I knew he would be so pleased.  His absence will be felt when I attend the National Food Policy Conference -  my usual venue to see him.

Through his lectures, his writings, and his personal commitment, David was an inspiration. We were honored to have him in our classroom and as our friend.  We will miss him. As we continue to develop our Program with global food security issues in sharp focus, we will continue to dedicate our work to his leadership.

Please note that an earlier version of this post indicated that David suffered a massive heart attack. I have since learned that this was not the case. His heart simply stopped beating, and as the Washington Post reported, in his Legacy post, he "died of a heart incident in his sleep early on the morning of October 16, 2015 while attending the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa."  Our sympathies are extended to all of David's family and friends. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Professor Schneider Presents at Food Law & Policy Summit at Harvard Law School

This in from Professor Susan Schneider, Director of the LL.M. Program:

Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic Summit organizers
The women behind the successful Harvard Summit, Left to right,
Emily Broad Leib, Emma Clippinger, Christina Rice, Ona Balkus
Last weekend, it was my pleasure to participate in the Food Law Student Leadership Summit at Harvard Law School. This amazing event was organized by Emily Broad Leib and her team at the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic. Note that this team includes our very own LL.M. candidate and soon-to-be-alumna, Christina Rice. Christina serves as a Clinical Fellow in the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic, and it was great to see her in her new role.

The Leadership Summit was organized to bring together law students who are interested in food law & policy issues, to help them advance their interests within their law schools and to create a national network of leadership. From the Summit website:
The Food Law Student Leadership Summit is the first conference to convene law students from around the country who share a passion for food law and policy. Participants will hear from national experts about key food law and policy issues related to the environment, health, food safety, and food waste; develop strategies to start or expand student food law organizations; build a national network of food law and policy colleagues; and begin to develop coordinated strategies for addressing some of society’s most pressing food law and policy concerns.
Dean Minow speaks at Food Law & Policy Summit
Dean Martha Minow addresses the Summit, with Peter Barton
Hutt and Emily Broad Leib listening to her remarks
The Summit exceeded even its most optimistic projections. Over 100 law students from 50 different law schools were accepted from a wide pool of applicants.  Presenters included some of the most notable professors and practitioners in food law & policy today. The event was kicked off with an impassioned speech from Harvard Law School Dean Margaret Minow who advocated that "food is everything" and that it works to integrate all of of the elements of the law school curriculum into a meaningful and critical study. The Summit was generously funded by the Charles M. Haar Food and Health Law and Policy Fund.

Speaking at Harvard on pharmaceutical use in the the livestock industrp
Professor Susan Schneider speaking on
Pharmaceutical Use in the Livestock Industry

The weekend event was structured with educational presentations and student problem-solving exercises. I delivered two presentations on Saturday. The first was on the Use of Pharmaceuticals in the Livestock Industry and it was based on my recent article published in the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum. The second was Keeping the Farmer in Food Policy, and it was co-taught with Professor Neil Hamilton.  It is always a pleasure to see and to work with our condensed course professor and colleague from Drake University School of Law.  In addition, I worked with the students in evaluating their problem-solving simulations, working with Christina in the classroom.

I was very proud to have several of our LL.M. students selected for attendance in the Summit.  Nicole Cook, Dave Nezzie, and Kelvin Stroud were at the Summit and represented us well.

It was an honor to participate in this event and to present to these students -  the future of food law. I do hope that we will see some of the in the next few years with us in the LL.M. Program!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Graduate Assistant with the Law Group of NW Arkansas: Katie Willoughby

We are proud to announce the The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas Graduate Assistantship within the LL.M. Program.

The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas is home to LL.M. Alumni KC Tucker and Kritsy Boehler, who along with partner Gray Weeks were instrumental in making this assistantship a reality.

The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas represents individuals and businesses in all areas of agricultural and food law "from farm to fork." Their website provides examples of the types of work they do for the farm and food sector clients.
[W]e represent large-scale animal agricultural firms as well as farmers and ranchers in lease drafting or disputes, we assist in establishing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and regularly advise clients in matters related to foodborne illness liability. We also represent individuals and businesses in all phases of complex litigation, with a focus on agricultural, food, and environmental issues.
The firm  selected LL.M. Candidate  Katie Willoughby to serve in the graduate assistantship position. Katie recently completed a J.D., from Cumberland School of Law and holds a B.S. in Animal Science (Equine) from Auburn University, cum laude.

We thank the The Law Group for their support of the LL.M. Program and for the mentoring they will provide to Katie.  And, we congratulate Katie for the award. We know she will do a great job.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Food Law Firm Graduate Assistant: Satoko Kato

We are proud to announce that the The Food Law Firm, located in Sag Harbor, New York agreed  to sponsor a Graduate Assistantship in the LL.M. Program. LL.M. Candidate Satoko Kato was selected for this honor.

The Food Law Firm was founded by  LL.M. Alumnus Jason Foscolo. After building a successful practice, Jason brought on his new partner, Lauren Handel also an alumni of our Program. LL.M. Program Affiliated Professor Nicole Civita serves as of counsel to the firm. We are delighted with their success and pleased to have another new connection through the GA sponsorship.

Satko is particularly deserving of this special honor.  She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she served on the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. She holds a B.A. in Law from Sophia University, Tokyo. Satoko is admitted to practice law in New York, most recently serving as Counsel to Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York and Tokyo.  The following excerpt from the Food Law Firm's announcement references some of her many accomplishments.
Satoko Kato has more than ten years of experience working at a top global law firm in New York and Tokyo.  There, she represented multinational corporations in connection with securities offerings, public disclosure and compliance.  She also represented clients in investigations by the Department of Justice in alleged Sherman Act violations. 
An omnivore enthusiastic of good food and drinks, she attended culinary school and interned at a commercial kitchen incubator where she became highly inspired by the energy of food entrepreneurs and the unique food and beverages they are bringing to the market.  In the course of communicating with food entrepreneurs, she felt that there is a market to be served in providing good legal counseling.  She aspires to channel her skills and experience into the food and beverage and agriculture industries.

Friday, October 2, 2015

LL.M. Program Welcomes Valeriya Zayets

Valeriya Zayets
The School of Law was delighted to award a Graduate Assistantship to Ukrainian Lawyer Valeriya Zayets, allowing her to join us as an LL.M. Candidate.  We are delighted to have her with us.

Valeriya holds an LL.B. from Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman, and a Master of Laws in Energy Law from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Prior to joining the LL.M. Program, Valeriya served as a Law Consultant to the Ukrainian Mining Company, LLC and as a Law Consultant to Privat Bank. She is a Co-founder and member of the Students League branch of Ukrainian Bar Association at Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman. She has served in a volunteer capacity as an Independent Legal Assistant to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and is keenly interested in the development of the Ukrainian food and agriculture system post-revolution.

In recent years, the LL.M. Program has enhanced its international law curriculum. This expansion has been possible thanks to the extensive international law work of Professor Christopher Kelley and Professor Uche Ewelukwa. This has helped us to attract talented international candidates such as Valeriya.

The globalization of our food system, concerns about global food security, food sovereignty, land tenure, and international intellectual property rights, to name but a few emerging issues, have highlighted the need for more coordinated work. Climate change will only accelerate the urgency of these issues. Valeriya will be working with us to further develop our international food and agriculture curriculum and to explore global food and agriculture initiatives that would link our expertise with more international universities, governments, NGOs, and students.  We are happy to have her assistance and look forward to a great year of work with her.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

RUSLEF Fellow Joins LL.M. Program

We are also delighted to announce our first LL.M. fellow sponsored by the Russia-United States Legal Education Foundation (RUSLEF), Ksenia Petrovets joins us from St. Petersburg, Russia.

RUSLEF supports the development of the rule of law in Russia through educational exchange opportunities with U.S. law schools. It was created for the purpose of promoting the study and understanding of law between members of the Russian legal academy and the American Legal Academy.  RUSLEF supports a small number of carefully selected students for fellowships at U.S. law schools. While we have had former RUSLEF fellows attend the LL.M. Program in previous years, Ksenia is the first awarded a fellowship for our Program.

Ksenia holds a Master of Laws from The Law of the World Trade Organization, Saint-Petersburg State University, and a Bachelor of Laws from Saint-Petersburg State University. Her professional experience include serving as Legal Counsel to JSCB Intrust Bank, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Ksenia will join Mark in his work on the School of Laws Global Food & Agriculture International Initiative.