This is the unofficial blog of the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
We study the law of food and agriculture from farm to fork, from the perspective of the farmer, the retailer, and the consumer.
Concern about the safety and sustainability of the global food system makes agricultural and food law studies one of the most vibrant areas of legal practice and policy analysis.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Food Safety Litigation Course with Denis Stearns, Of Counsel at Marler Clark
Former Principal and Founding Partner of Marler Clark. LLP, PS, Denis Stearns offers a fast-paced look at Food Safety Litigation to Candidates in the LL.M. Program as part of a popular 2-day course.
The course offers an examination of food borne illness litigation with an initial introduction to food product liability followed by the study of actual cases brought against food manufacturers.
Denis Stearns was a founding partner of Marler Clark, LLP, PS, a Seattle-based law firm with a national practice devoted to the representation of persons injured by unsafe food and drink. He also works to promote food safety through educational speaking and pro bono consulting with the food industry. In addition, Professor Stearns teaches at Seattle University School of Law and is a recognized food law scholar.
Professor Stearns began his involvement in food-related litigation in 1993 as one of the lead defense attorneys handling the cases arising from the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the Northwest United States. Mr. Stearns was responsible for designing and implementing a discovery plan that allowed Foodmaker to present a consistent and successful defense in over one hundred lawsuits spread among several states. In this role, he obtained extensive knowledge and experience in litigation that involves complex manufacturing systems, foodborne illnesses, and issues of quality control. He also became noted for a highly principled, but persistent, approach to the discovery process and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on ethics and the law. Since helping to found Marler Clark seventeen years ago, he has worked on hundreds of food outbreak cases, including recent ones involving E. coli O157:H7-contaminated Dole spinach, Salmonella in Peter Pan peanut butter and Banquet pot pies, and a spate of outbreaks involving E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef, Nestlé cookie dough, and raw milk.
Professor Stearns continues to work with Bill Marler and Marler Clark. He is also the principal/owner of Stearns Law, PLLC, a law firm that focuses on consulting and working with food companies of multiple sizes, including advising on how to prepare for and respond to foodborne illness outbreaks, recalls, and regulatory compliance issues. A full biography is available here.