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Food Fight: An Examination of Recent Trends in Food Litigation and Where We Go From Here

April 11, 2014 @ 8:15 am - 6:00 pm

Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy
In Conjunction With The Litigation Section of The State Bar of California presents
Food Fight: An Examination of Recent Trends in Food Litigation and Where We Go From Here

Friday, April 11, 2014 | 8:15 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | UCLA Faculty Center

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

This activity qualifies for 6.25 hours of general MCLE credit.

Food-related litigation has surged in recent years, with a significant increase in cases attacking labels on the basis claims about the quality of ingredients, or claims a food is “healthy” or “natural.”  These developments have evoked considerable discussion of the emerging “Food Court” and its implications for consumers, industry, and lawmakers – but much uncertainty remains.  This conference will bring together practitioners, academics, and law students to examine emerging issues in food litigation, its broader context, and the role for litigation in policy-making.

Registration information is below.
Registration will include entrance into conference, light breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception.




Conference will feature the following speakers and topics:

Welcome and Introduction by Dean Rachel Moran, UCLA School of Law
Panel 1: Is “Food Court” Helping Consumers? The Historical Context of Food Labeling Litigation and the Role of Litigation in System Reform 
A discussion of what is driving the recent surge in food related litigation, the social utility of litigation, and how food litigation compares to other types of class actions directed at driving industry changes.


  • David Biderman, Partner, Perkins Coie
  • Steve Gardner, Director of Litigation, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Samuel R. Wiseman, Assistant Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law


  • Joanna Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Panel 2: Recent Food Litigation Trends: What’s Healthy, What’s Natural, and Who Says So? 
A discussion of recent case law, emerging legal theories and settlement trends.
  • Michael Reese, Reese Richman LLP
  • Diana Winters, Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Dean Panos, Partner, Jenner & Block


  • Kim Kessler, Policy and Special Programs Director, Resnick Program, UCLA School of Law
Panel 3: Regulatory and Legislative Landscape:  A Look Ahead 
A review of the key regulatory actions and legislative changes that will shape the litigation landscape in 2014 and 2015, to include discussion of the Food Safety Modernization Act, federal rulemaking, and state level activity regarding GMO labeling laws.  What changes may limit or curtail litigation, and what changes are likely to create more legal risks or uncertainty?
  • Dennis Stearns, Professor from Practice, Seattle University School of Law; Founding Partner, Marler Clark Firm
  • Bruce Silverglade, Principal, Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Matz PC
  • Michele Simon, President, Eat Drink Politics
  • Neal Fortin, Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law


  • Margot Pollans, Teaching Fellow, Resnick Program, UCLA School of Law
Panel 4: Beyond Labeling: The Role of Litigation in Broader Food System Reform

While “Food Court” activity is primarily focused on consumer protection and labeling actions, litigation is currently being used as a strategy to address various negative implications of the food system, from food safety to the environment.  This panel features examples of these types of cases and explores the possibilities and limitations of litigation to address food system challenges.

  • Robert Bodzin, Chair of The Litigation Section of The State Bar of CA and Partner, Burnham Brown
  • Leslie Brueckner, Senior Attorney, Public Justice, Food Safety and Health Attorney
  • Avinash Kar, Senior Attorney, National Resources Defense Council


  • Sean Hecht, Executive Director, Environmental Law Center, UCLA School of Law



























































Wrap-up and closing remarks by Michael Roberts, Executive Director, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law.
Lunch Speaker: Paul Miller, President of the Australian Olive Association
 Networking Reception to follow directly after conference.
Registration Information:

Registration Fees:
    • $135 – Public
    • $65 – Academics, Non-profit, and new lawyers who have been practicing for less than 5 years
    • $0 – UCLA School of Law Faculty and currently enrolled UCLA School of Law students may register free of charge.
We accept online credit card payment or payment via check.
To register and pay via check, please may check payable to “UC Regents”. Please complete this form and mail along with payment to:
          Randi Kusumi | Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy
          UCLA School of Law
          385 Charles E. Young Drive, East
           1242 Law Building
          Los Angeles, CA 90095
To register and pay online, please click here.
For a detailed program for the conference, please click here. (coming soon)
For directions to UCLA Faculty Center please visit: http://facultycenter.ucla.edu/About-Us/Directions.aspx
Daily parking permits for Lot 2 are available for purchase at the Information Kiosk on Westholme Ave. and Hilgard Ave. Short-term, pay-by-space parking is available at selected entrances to Lot 2 and by the Law School Building along Charles E. Young Drive East.
If you have any questions, please contact Randi Kusumi at kusumi@law.ucla.edu.


April 11, 2014
8:15 am - 6:00 pm