Food & Beverage

  • June 16, 2017

    Beef Co. GC Says ABC's 'Pink Slime' News Sank Its Sales

    Beef Products Inc.’s general counsel told a South Dakota jury Friday that ABC’s reporting calling its beef product “pink slime” nearly killed the company, saying its sales of the product dropped by roughly three-quarters after ABC went to air.

  • June 16, 2017

    Brand Battles: Nintendo, Conagra, Volkswagen

    In Law360's latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Nintendo fights a megachurch over "Switch," Conagra asks the board for consistency over "Choice Cuts" frozen meals, and Volkswagen asserts its trademark rights in the shape of its iconic van.

  • June 16, 2017

    NJ ShopRite Cleared Of Negligence Over Worker's Photos

    A New Jersey appellate court ruled Friday that a ShopRite store couldn’t be held responsible for a store employee convicted of taking photos of a 6-year-old customer and pulling up her shirt, saying there was no evidence the store knew of any prior similar behavior.

  • June 16, 2017

    Conspirator In Fake 5-Hour Energy Scheme Gets 6 Months

    A conspirator who pled guilty in California federal court to being part of a scheme to peddle fake 5-Hour Energy drinks was sentenced Thursday to six months in prison and ordered to pay $555,801 in restitution to Living Essentials LLC, the drink’s maker.

  • June 16, 2017

    Univ. of Alabama Fan Agrees To End Coca-Cola TCPA Suit

    An Alabama federal magistrate judge on Friday ended a University of Alabama fan’s proposed class action accusing Coca-Cola and a marketing company of sending unsolicited text messages in a legal battle spanning more than four and a half years.

  • June 16, 2017

    Ex-Commerce Employee Found Guilty On Bribery Charges

    A Virginia federal jury has convicted a former information technology worker at the U.S. Department of Commerce of receiving bribes in exchange for awarding lucrative contracts and funneling the payments through a restaurant business he owned, federal prosecutors announced on Thursday.

  • June 16, 2017

    Dow-DuPont Deal Highlights Division's Immunity To Politics

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s clearance of Dow and DuPont’s bid to merge into a $130 billion chemicals giant, one of the first megadeals to secure approval under the new administration, is the latest sign that merger reviews are largely insulated from politics.

  • June 16, 2017

    Taxation With Representation: Wachtell, Weil, Paul, Gibson

    In this week’s Taxation With Representation, Amazon announces a blockbuster deal to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Canadian cable operator Shaw Communications sells its U.S. data center company ViaWest for $1.675 billion, and private equity firm Liberty Hall Capital Partners purchases Dunlop Aircraft Tyres in a deal worth roughly $135 million.

  • June 16, 2017

    Grubhub Wants To Sanction Driver For Confidential Info Leak

    Grubhub Inc. on Thursday moved for sanctions in California federal court against a lead plaintiff in a proposed wage-and-overtime class action, accusing him of violating a protective order in the case by publicly disclosing nearly 300 pages of material designated as “confidential.”

  • June 16, 2017

    Luxury Candy Seller Says Competitor Isn't Acting Sweet

    High-end candy retailer Sugarfina Inc. slapped a competitor with an infringement suit Thursday in California federal court, alleging that Sweet Pete’s LLC has tried to capitalize on its success by copying its innovative packaging and products, confusing consumers in the process.

  • June 16, 2017

    Pecan Co. Says Nut Supplier Is Responsible In $1.5M Hack

    A pecan wholesaler told a Texas federal judge on Thursday that it does not owe $1.5 million to a Mexican nut distributor after allegedly transferring payments meant for the distributor to a third-party hacker who changed the wiring instructions via email, saying it had no idea it had paid a hacker.

  • June 16, 2017

    Gizmo Beverages Sues Ex-Chair For TM Infringement

    Gizmo Beverages Inc., which owns the patent rights to a device that stores fresh ingredients inside a nitrogen-pressurized chamber for later use in drinks and other products, has sued its former chairman in California federal court for trademark infringement, cyberpiracy and illegally taking possession of the company’s property.

  • June 16, 2017

    Amazon Inks $13.7B Whole Foods Buy

    Amazon announced Friday it will buy Texas-based natural grocery retailer Whole Foods Market Inc. in a $13.7 billion deal, including debt, as the online retail heavyweight further broadens its offerings.

  • June 15, 2017

    Judge Recommends Insurer Win In Pet Food Coverage Case

    Colony Insurance should not have to cover Custom Ag Commodities for its role in a massive pet food adulteration fight, a Texas magistrate judge recommended Thursday, saying Custom Ag has presented no convincing arguments for coverage under an ad injury policy.

  • June 15, 2017

    'Pink Slime' Coiner Tells Jury USDA Approval Was Wrong Call

    The former U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist who first called Beef Products Inc.’s trimmings product “pink slime” testified Thursday in the company's defamation trial against the ABC network that the “weird” looking product should not have been approved for use in ground beef.

  • June 15, 2017

    NYC Eatery Says Its TM Doesn't Tread On Condiment Co.'s

    A New York City restaurant chain known for its “roadhouse” style atmosphere asked a federal judge Thursday to clear it of trademark infringment accusations by a condiment maker that sells a brand of barbecue sauce under the same name, saying there was no likelihood of confusion between the two.  

  • June 15, 2017

    Pa. High Court Likely To Have Say In Philly Soda Tax Fight

    A panel of appellate judges may have upheld Philadelphia’s controversial new tax on sweetened beverages Wednesday, but experts say the fight over the levy is unlikely to end without the Pennsylvania Supreme Court taking up the case to weigh in on the powers of local government in the state.

  • June 15, 2017

    Micula Award Enforcement Stay Can Be Appealed, Judge Says

    An English High Court justice on Thursday allowed two Swedish food investors to appeal his decision to pause enforcement in England of their arbitral award against Romania, which was issued following the revocation of certain economic incentives and is worth approximately £173 million, but declined to order Romania to post security.

  • June 15, 2017

    Divided 9th Circ. Upholds Calif. Ban On In-Store Booze Ads

    Ten Ninth Circuit judges on Wednesday agreed to shut down a First Amendment challenge to California’s law barring alcohol companies from paying retailers for in-store marketing, with a sole dissent from Chief Justice Sidney R. Thomas in a published en banc decision.

  • June 15, 2017

    DOJ Clears Massive Dow, DuPont Deal With Divestitures

    The U.S. Department of Justice agreed Thursday to sign off on Dow and DuPont's bid to merge into a $130 billion chemicals giant as long as they sell part of DuPont's crop-protection business and two Dow petrochemical operations.

Expert Analysis

  • 'Milking' The 1st Amendment To Defend Food Label Claims

    Andre Timothy Hanson

    The Eleventh Circuit's decision in Ocheesee Creamery v. Putnam could have potentially significant ramifications for the labeling and advertising of foods and pharmaceuticals. The opinion shows that it may be time for companies to more aggressively defend their First Amendment rights, say Andre Timothy Hanson and Saul Howard Perloff of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

  • The 9-Year Winning Streak Of Virginia ‘Rocket Docket’

    Bob Tata

    Out of 94 district courts, the Eastern District of Virginia has been the fastest civil trial docket in the country for nine straight years. Without micromanaging the process, the EDVA's judges, magistrate judges, and clerks and staff continue to perform at a stunningly efficient level, says Bob Tata of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Scott Gottlieb And The Future Of The FDA

    Kristi Wolff

    The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions recently held a hearing on the nomination of Scott Gottlieb to be the next commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. His comments on FDA policy issues including drug pricing and approvals, food safety and labeling, and the tobacco “deeming” rule offer guidance on the future of the agency, say attorneys from Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • Opinion

    Let's Talk About Half-Hearted Innovation

    Michael Moradzadeh

    Allowing attorneys to telecommute may seem like a great fix for law firms. But without significant changes to the firm's culture, telecommuting is just a patch applied to the problem of attrition, says Michael Moradzadeh, founding partner of Rimon PC.

  • Roundup

    Counsel To Counsel: Insights From Law Firm GCs

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    General counsel at four law firms share the biggest issues they face in an increasingly complex legal environment.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: The Attorney-Client Team

    Robert Creo

    A 1979 study of attorney-client interactions revealed startling information: Despite years of education and training to hone their legal expertise, attorneys were not acting as independent counselors but rather allowing their clients to control them. Our experience is that this trend has accelerated, say dispute resolution experts Robert Creo and Selina Shultz.

  • Why Oregon Lawmakers Are Shielding Cannabis Buyers’ Data

    Kayla Matthews

    Oregon lawmakers have given new privacy protections to people buying cannabis in the state. While customers must still show identification to prove they are of legal age to buy the drug, dispensaries will no longer be able to permanently retain identifying data. The new bill pushes back against the Trump administration's hints of renewed enforcement of federal laws against marijuana, says Kayla Matthews.

  • Litigation Finance, Big Data And The Limits Of AI

    Christopher Bogart

    Theoretically, both better data and its better use should be able to improve results in litigation, and thus help litigation financiers allocate more capital to meritorious matters. However, while big data and artificial intelligence are intriguing additions to the litigation toolkit, they are far from turning litigation finance on its head, says Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital LLC.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: Mama Said There'll Be Days Like This

    Peter J. Engstrom

    It's no longer enough for law firms simply to provide expert legal advice — we are expected to mirror clients' legal, ethics and social commitments and promises. For law firm GCs, the resulting job demands seem to grow exponentially, says Peter Engstrom, general counsel of Baker McKenzie.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: A Law Firm GC's Data Protection Duties

    Thomas W. White

    Increasingly, we see companies in all industries seeking to perform various levels of due diligence on our information security defenses. We received three times as many diligence requests from clients and prospective clients in 2016 as we did in 2015. Some clients even conduct their own penetration tests, says Thomas White, general counsel of WilmerHale.