FOOD & BEVERAGE

Rock Hutchinson has significant experience providing general counsel to food and beverage clients, including assisting them in the development of legal risk management strategies and compliance programs designed to minimize risk exposure. Examples of some of Rock Hutchinson’s work includes:

  • FDA, FTC, USDA and Regulatory Compliance – Reviewing product packaging and labeling, assisting in governmental enforcement actions, and providing compliance counseling with respect to state and federal regulations.
  • Provided general counsel to O.N.E. (One Natural Experience), a natural beverage company headquartered in Los Angeles, California; assisted O.N.E. in the sale of a controlling equity position in the company.
  • Supply Chain and Distribution – Drafting, negotiating and enforcing sourcing, contract manufacturing, and strategic alliances, including international agreements.
  • Retail and Foodservice Sales – Drafting, negotiating and enforcing sales, distribution, and broker agreements with some of the nations largest retailers and foodservice distributors.
  • Antitrust and Trade Compliance – Providing counseling and training on a broad range of trade and antitrust concerns, including communications within trade and other industry groups, pricing communications, and Robinson Patman compliance.
  • Marketing, Advertising & Promotion Law – Full range of experience reviewing and documenting prior substantiation for advertising claims, developing contest and sweepstakes rules, defending or challenging claims at the National Advertising Division, and drafting network substantiation letters.

REPRESENTATIVE FOOD & BEVERAGE LITIGATION EXPERIENCE:

  • Lead defense counsel for one of the largest egg producers in the United States in In Re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, (MDL No 2002 E.D. PA.), a nationwide class action consolidated in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The direct purchaser class case settled against client for no economic renumeration. The claims of several opt-out plaintiffs are proceeding.
  • Defended and successfully arbitrated breach of contract, unjust enrichment and account stated claims for a leading dairy producer.
  • Represented global food and beverage company in food labeling lawsuit.
  • Defended a national retail chain in a class action alleging the false and deceptive labeling of organic milk.
  • Defended a California food grower in an employment class action alleging violations of California’s wage and hour laws.
  • Resolved a product liability claim against a beverage client brought by a consumer.
  • Obtained a $0 settlement on behalf of a beverage client in an action alleging claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act in federal court in Minnesota.
  • Negotiated a non-monetary settlement on behalf of a food company in a trademark infringement action venued in the Western District of Texas.
  • Settled case just prior to trial for significant sum in favor of Australian Investment Banking firm against joint venturer accused of misappropriation of corporate opportunity and breach of fiduciary duty during development of a biodiesel refinery.
  • Ten years of in-house experience at one of the nation’s largest food manufacturers.
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