Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Alum Lauren Handel Named in Top Twenty Women Faculty of 2016

We were delighted to see our alumna Lauren Handel recognized for her dedication to sharing food law & policy expertise with the bar, selecting her as one of the Top Twenty Women Faculty of 2016.

Lawline just announced the winners and explained that their "content team dug deep into 2016 data, including the top courses and our most successful faculty. In particular, the team focused on identifying the top women faculty who, through their powerful CLE programs, influenced and inspired thousands of attorneys across the country."

The listing is published on the Above the Law legal blog.

Here is a reprint of the description they provided for Lauren's selection:

Lauren Handel (Partner, Handel Food Law)
In addition to her law degree, Lauren Handel also holds an LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.  This no doubt has helped her build her specialized practice, through which she counsels and represents food, farming and alcoholic beverage businesses. Lauren is the author of A Practitioner’s Guide to Defending “Natural” Food Labeling Litigation, published in the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture & Natural Resources Law, as well as a chapter on Urban Agricultural Nuisances and State Right to Farm Laws published by the American Bar Association in the book Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation. 
Lauren’s CLE course, Food Labeling and Marketing Litigation Risks, provides an overview of food labeling regulation, the causes of action asserted by consumers and competitors, key defenses, and the types of labeling and marketing claims that plaintiffs have targeted in lawsuits. Lawline members call this a “balanced and fair presentation” and one that is “very informative” to attorneys as both practitioners and consumers. It’s the kind of course that gives “exactly the sorts of information” you’re “hoping would be presented” in a way that provides a solid “basic understanding of the topic,” should an attorney “ever wish to pursue it.”

Attorneys are wise to listen closely to Lauren's instruction.  Just last month, she won a multi-million dollar case for her food law client client.  Congratulation, Lauren. We are so proud of the work you do.

Friday, April 21, 2017

John Koller, Chief of the Dispute Resolution for PACA to visit LL.M. Program

On Tuesday, April 25th John Koller, Chief of the Dispute Resolution Branch (DRB) under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) will discuss how attorneys can provide effective legal counsel to clients in the produce industry as well as answering questions about the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, USDA's dispute resolution program, and his 32 years of experience in the agency. 

This presentation is part of our Regulated Markets in Agriculture course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Nathan Rosenberg.

John Koller serves as Chief of the Dispute Resolution Branch (DRB) under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).  John’s office works to educate stakeholders that buy and sell fruit and vegetables in interstate commerce on ways to successfully resolve and avoid contract disputes.  John has over 32 years of PACA experience.  In his early years with PACA, John was involved in resolving hundreds of informal complaints through various levels of mediation, conducting violation investigations, and bringing produce firms into compliance by obtaining a PACA license.   Before and while serving as Assistant Regional Director of a PACA Regional Office, he was involved in various high profile investigations touching on false accountings and failure to pay, PACA Trust violations, altered USDA inspections, bribery of USDA inspectors, unlawful employment, misbranding, and pursuing firms that operate without a valid PACA license.  John looks forward to continuing his rewarding experience with PACA and helping produce firms succeed in their business ventures.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Michael Roberts to visit LL.M. Program

On Tuesday, April 25th, LL.M. Alumnus and long time friend of the Program Michael T. Roberts will join Professor Satoko Kato during our Federal Regulation of Food Safety course as a special guest lecturer.

Michael T. Roberts, Executive Director,
Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy
Michael T. Roberts is the founding Executive Director of the newly established Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. He is well versed in a broad range of legal and policy issues from farm to fork in local, national, and global food supply systems. He has recently authored the first major treatise on food law, titled, Food Law in the United States, published by Cambridge University Press. He is also co-editor of Food Law & Policy, a new casebook to be published by Wolters Kluwer. He has also written several other chapters and articles on food law topics. As we reported in a earlier blog post, Michael recently co-authored a White Paper that was recently released by The UCLA Resnick Program in Food Law &Policy, The Pursuit of Food Authenticity: Recommended Legal and Policy Strategies to Eradicate Economically Motivated Adulteration (Food Fraud). His 2016 China Food Law Update, co-authored by Chin-Fu Ling was published in the Fall 17 edition of the Journal of Food Law & Policy.

Mr. Roberts is actively involved in the development of food law and policy. He has guest lectured on food-law subjects at various law schools in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is a Research Fellow for Renmin University School of Law’s Center for Coordination and Innovation for Food Safety. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law for East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai), where he lectures annually on food law topics. He also lectures frequently and is involved with the University of Tuscia, European Food Law Center (Viterbo, Italy). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Michigan State University, where he teaches a distant education course on China food law. He serves on the advisory board for the World Food Law Institute and on the Editorial Board for MDPI Laws, an open access scholarly journal, which has addressed food law topics. Michael serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Academy of Food Law & Policy, a membership organization that serves as a forum for individuals and institutions involved in teaching and scholarship in the broad field of Food Law & Policy housed within the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Reece Franklin joins LL.M. Program Staff

Reece Franklin joins the LL.M. Program Staff as AV Distance Education Coordinator.

Please join me in welcoming Reece Franklin to the Law School and to the LL.M. Program. Reece will be serving as the AV Distance Education Coordinator, managing the technological aspects of the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law.
Reece brings some excellent experience having most recently served as Lead AV Technician at Presentation Services Audio Visual, a company that manages special events and conferences for major hotel chains in the North Miami area.

Reece graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ouachita Baptist University with a double major in Philosophy & Church Media Production Arts. He is also experienced in video production and editing.

 In addition to his work supporting the distance program, Reece will be assisting the program in the production of several marketing video's which we hope to release in early fall 17.

Reece and his wife, Anna Grace are relocating from North Miami, FL and look forward to being a bit closer to family and friends in Arkadelphia.

We're fortunate to have Reece join our team!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Legal Issues in Agricultural Land Tenure with Neil Hamilton

Professor Neil Hamilton returns to Fayetteville to teach a intensive short course on Agricultural Land Tenure

Last week, we were pleased to offer a new course in Agricultural Land Tenure developed and taught by Neil Hamilton, Emeritus Director of the Agricultural Law Center and Emeritus Professor of Law at Drake University Law School.

This intensive 2.5 day one credit course focuses on the role landownership and use plays in the operation of American agriculture. The course examines the history of federal land policy in the U.S. such as the Homestead Act and other land grants in forming our land ownership structure and will examine the current reality of land tenure in the U.S. , looking at who owns farmland and in what legal structures. 

Professor Hamilton is nationally recognized as a leader not only in agricultural law but sustainable agriculture. His current work focuses on the critical land tenure issues facing agriculture, and he designed a course for us on that topic. With the aging of American farmers and the amount of land in the control of non-farmers, who owns farmland and how it is farmed (in terms of sustainability) are big questions to address.

Our thanks to Professor Hamilton!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Michael Roberts and Resnick Program Release New Report

LL.M. Alumnus, Michael Roberts co-authored a White Paper that was recently released by The UCLA Resnick Program in Food Law &Policy, The Pursuit of Food Authenticity: Recommended Legal and Policy Strategies to Eradicate Economically Motivated Adulteration (Food Fraud).

Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA), a form of food fraud has been in the media in recent years as unscrupulous food manufacturers are caught diluting their products, substituting inferior ingredients, omitting ingredients, and concealing their actions for economic gain. The White Paper notes that EMA often leads to food safety incidents and cheats consumers.
As with food law in general, the regulation of EMA can be convoluted, leading to weak enforcement by the government. Recognizing that the current political reality does not support new regulations, the paper recommends that the FDA enforce the existing statutory mandate against EMA for the benefit of consumers in a smart, efficient manner by setting enforcement priorities and by collaborating with science experts and the food industry. The paper also recommends that the food industry address food fraud by embracing the norm of food authenticity and establishing self-governance rules as it has done so with sustainability. Last, the paper proposes specific changes in litigation against food fraud.

Michael Roberts serves as the founding Executive Director of the Resnick Program. His co-author is Whitney Turk, a Research Fellow with the Program.

Special Note:  Michael will be joining us in the LL.M. Program at the end of the month to teach a class in the Federal Regulation of Food Safety course. It will be wonderful to have him back in Arkansas with us for a few days.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Nicole Civita presents at Just Food Forum

Since 2015, Harvard Law School has hosted the Just Food? conference bringing together food system workers, advocates, scholars, practitioners and other authorities to present on important developments in the Food system.

This year’s Just Food? conference focused on labor in the food system, exploring the issues most relevant to those who grow, harvest, prepare, and serve our food.

The Just Food? forum is a collaboration of the Harvard Food Literacy Project and Harvard Law School Food Law Society and is co-sponsored by our friends at the Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School.

The one-day conference was packed with a series of excellent panelist, speakers, and presenters. Topics included agricultural worker rights, worker compensation in the restaurant industry, regulatory responses, and alternative ownership and operating models. Conference organizers hoped to shift attention toward a critical, but often overlooked, component of our food system: the  workers. "By amplifying the voices of those most embedded in our food system, we hope to educate participants, empower them to make positive change, and ultimately, work together to create a more just food system."

LL.M. Affiliate Professor Nicole Civita was invited to present a talk titled Ethics Over Exploitation: Moral Mapping of Food System Labor. A summary of the talk follows.

Conscious consumers in a market-based food movement seek to minimize the negative externalities of their food choices. But when we obtain our food through arm's length transactions, it is difficult to assess and avoid exploitation of people, places, animals, and commons. The Consumers, Certifications and Labels: Ethically Benchmarking Food Systems project is developing a comprehensive rating system for the ethics of food. This interactive session (led by a member of the project's Core Academic Team) explores the ethical issues associated with the labor and community components of the food system.

Nicole Civita is the Director of the Food Recovery Project and an Affiliated Professor with the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas. She is also Faculty and Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College, where she organizes the School of the New American Farmstead. Using a multidisciplinary, solutions-oriented approach that pairs legal expertise with hands-on food craft, Nicole's scholarship and teaching focus on food conservation, justice, and resilience, planning for place-based and community-driven food systems, and the power and limits of a market-based food movement. She holds an LL.M. in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law, a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, and an AB from Columbia University.