Legal Education

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Thursday, November 02nd, 2017

The American Agricultural Law Association held its national conference last week in Louisville, Kentucky, and two Ohio law students from OSU Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law School took top honors in the student competitions.  Evin Bachelor and  Devon Alexander joined forces with U. of Houston law student Sara Luther and finished first in the Student Quiz Bowl competition.  The Quiz Bowl requires law students to correctly answer questions about law, agriculture and agricultural law.   

Bachelor also entered and won first place in the Student Poster Competition with his research project titled "Ohio: The Midwestern Ag Mediation Holdout." Bachelor discussed the potential for Ohio to become one of the last midwestern states to engage in USDA's Agricultural Mediation Program.  Bachelor is a third year law student at OSU's Moritz College of Law and Alexander is a second year law student at Capital University Law School.  Both hope to work in the agricultural law arena after law school. 

OSU was able to send the students to the conference due to the generous support of the Paul L. Wright Endowment in Agricultural Law at OSU.

For more information about the American Agricultural Law Association, visit https://www.aglaw-assn.org/

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Tuesday, January 06th, 2015

Attorney Bill Bridgforth will present OSU's next webinar on "The 2014 Farm Bill:  Guiding a Client through the New Law" on Friday, January 9 at 1 pm EST.  Bridgforth is a senior partner in the Arkansas law firm of Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson & Raley, LLP who represents agricultural producers around the United States.  He will explain the election decisions producers and landowners must make under the new Farm Bill and will provide examples of decision making impacts. 

There is no registration or fee required for the webinar, which is accessible at https://carmenconnect.osu.edu.  A recording of the webinar and a listing of additional webinars is available at farmoffice.osu.edu.  

The Ohio Food, Agriculture & Environmental Law Webinar Series is an outreach project of OSU Extension's Agricultural & Resource Law Program.

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

OSU’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program is pleased to announce its inaugural webinar, Big Data and UAVs:  Legal Issues for Agriculture, scheduled for Friday, December 12 at 1 pm.  This is the first webinar in the program’s new “Ohio Food, Agriculture and Environmental Law Webinar Series,” offering monthly legal webinars on issues of importance to Ohio agriculture. 

The webinar will feature John Dillard, an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz, PC in Washington, DC and a leading expert on legal issues with technology and agriculture.  With a background in agriculture and experience advising clients in the food and agricultural industries, Dillard will present a practical analysis of the legal issues raised by agriculture’s increasing use of large data sources and UAVs.   Dillard authors a blog, Ag in the Courtroom, on AgWeb.com and Legal Ease, a column in Farm Journal magazine.  He has appeared on national television and radio agricultural programs to discuss legal issues that affect agriculture.

Future webinars in the Ohio Food, Agriculture and Environmental Law Webinar Series will feature other national and state experts discussing legal issues of importance to Ohio agriculture.  Topics in the series thus far will include:

The 2014 Farm Bill: Guiding a Client through the New Law with Bill Bridgforth of Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson & Raley LLP, Pine Bluff, Arkansas on Friday, January 9, 2015 at 1 pm. 

Managing Pollutant Discharge Risk on Farms with Chris Walker and Jack Van Kley of Van Kley & Walker LLP, Dayton/Columbus, Ohio and Tom Mehnke of Mehnke Consulting LLC, Greenville, Ohio on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 1 pm (tentative).

Introduction to Food Law:  What You Need to Know to Build a Food Law Practice with Jason Foscolo of Foscolo & Handel PLLC, Sag Harbor, New York on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 1 pm.

Nursing Home Costs & Medicaid:  The One-Two Punch to the Family Farm with Craig Vandervoort of Sitterly & Vandervoort Ltd, Lancaster, Ohio on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 1 pm.

Rights and Remedies for Protecting Your Water Supply in Ohio with Joe Reidy of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Columbus, Ohio and Peggy Kirk Hall of OSU’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program on Thursday, May 14, 2015 (tentative).

For information on how to access the complimentary webinars and archived recordings, visit the “webinars” tab on https://farmoffice.osu.edu.  

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By: Caty Daniels, Friday, November 14th, 2014

Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural and Resource Law Program is excited to announce a new partnership with a group of universities creating a new Agricultural and Food Law Consortium.  The Consortium is a national, multi-institutional collaboration designed to enhance and expand the development and delivery of authoritative, timely, and objective agricultural and food law research and information.

The Consortium will host its first webinar on Wednesday, November 19, from 2:30-3:30 (EST). The webinar, titled Mandatory GMO Labeling Laws: Overview and Status of Current Legal Issues, will focus on GMO labeling laws, proposals, and initiatives. Details about the webinar, including sign-on instructions, are available on the National Agricultural Law Center website at http://nationalaglawcenter.org/consortium/gmolabelingwebinar/. The program presenter will be Consortium member, Ross Pifer, Director of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State Law. The program is designed for a broad audience that includes non-attorneys.

The Consortium is being led by the National Agricultural Law Center, which is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The OSUE Agricultural and Resource Law Program’s role in the consortium will be to conduct legal research, write articles, and produce outreach material. The consortium will allow us to collaborate on national and regional issues using our strengths to create bigger impact and will allow us to bring our expertise and Ohio’s issues to a national audience. Other universities making up the consortium include the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law and the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

Right now, an online survey is being conducted asking for input on agriculture and legal issues individuals are dealing with. This survey will help define the Consortium’s long-term research and information agenda. Everyone is asked to participate in the short, anonymous survey. The survey can be found at: http://nationalaglawcenter.org/consortium/.

By: Caty Daniels, Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program will host the Sixth Annual Ohio Agricultural Law Conference on Friday May 16, 2014 at the Ohio 4-H Center. This year’s program features OSU’s Dr. Carl Zulauf discussing the new Farm Bill. Also on the schedule is a legislative update from Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Tony Seegers. Craig Vandervoort of Sitterly & Vandervoort Ltd. will present on Medicaid and nursing home planning for family farms.  Robert Moore of Wright & Moore Law Co. will moderate a session featuring an OSU Extension Educator and an insurance agent on agri-tourism and direct marketing trends and liability. A roundtable discussion on guiding clients in today’s agricultural climate, moderated by Troy Callicoat of Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham and Eselgroth LLP, will wrap up the day.  

A special highlight of this year’s conference is a bus tour of OSU’s Waterman Farm.  The bus will then take conference attendees to the North Market in downtown Columbus for lunch and a discussion with North Market Farmers on legal issues and challenges they face. Law students interested in attending the conference may apply for student scholarships provided by the Paul L. Wright Agricultural Law Endowment Fund. Contact Caty Daniels at daniels.498@osu.edu for scholarship information. For more information and to register for the conference, visit www.regonline.com/OhioAgLaw.

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 Catharine Daniels,  Attorney, OSU Extension Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Attorneys across Ohio recently came together for the 2013 Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium to learn about current legal issues for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses.  In a session about protecting the farm and agribusiness,  Cari Rincker, a food and agricultural law attorney in New York City, discussed why farm and agribusinesses might consider using a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to safeguard confidential business information.

An NDA is not typically a tool that a farm or agribusiness would think of using in a business transaction.  According to Rincker,  however, NDAs are underutilized in the food and agriculture industry.  Many farms and agribusinesses develop their own ideas, concepts, know-how, trade secrets, intellectual property, business plans or financial information.  Preventing other parties from disclosing these types of information can be important to the long-term health and viability of the farm or agribusiness.

Rincker highlighted two common situations for using an NDA.  One is when a farm or agribusiness is entering into business discussions with another party; confidential information could be disclosed during the course of these discussions.  For example, if a farmer approached a website developer about his or her proposed online agribusiness, that farmer may wish to have an NDA with the website developer to keep the business plan confidential.   The second situation concerns employees or independent contractors.  An NDA  binds employees and contractors to  confidentiality about private information they acquire from working for the business.  An agribusiness may want a bookkeeper to maintain confidentiality about business finances, for example.

What's in a Non-Disclosure Agreement?  According to Rincker,  an NDA  should address at least these questions:

  1. Who will be exchanging confidential information?
  2. What is the purpose of the exchange of confidential information?
  3. What type of information will be considered “confidential” for purposes of protection under the NDA?
  4. How can the confidential information be used and who can use it?
  5. How will the secrecy of the confidential information be maintained?
  6. How long will the confidentiality of the information be maintained?
  7. What are the consequences of a breach or misuse of the confidential information?

Maintenance of confidential information should not be taken lightly, states Rincker.  If your farm or agribusiness could be harmed by the disclosure of private information, talk with your attorney about an NDA.  For more information on NDAs, visit the Rincker Law website and blog at http://rinckerlaw.com/blog/.

ScreenShotPg1 Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio State Bar Association will again partner to host the fifth annual Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium on June 23 and 24, 2013.

The focus of this year's program is representing Ohio's farm and agri-business clients.  Two nationally respected  practitioners will teach for the Symposium.   Allen Olson from Albany, Georgia, who has farm clients throughout the southern states, will provide guidance on representing farmers in crop insurance disputes and will also share his outlook on federal farm bill policies.   Cari Rincker of Rincker Law Office in New York, NY,  whose client base is spread around the country, will speak on protecting the farm client’s business by managing contracts, intellectual property and employment concerns.

The program will also include Ohio legal experts on labor, trucking, food safety and estate and business planning.   Leah Curtis from Ohio Farm Bureau and Roxi Liming with Adams, Liming & Hockenberry, LLC in Columbus will use a case study approach to discuss advising farm clients on trucking and labor regulations.   Russell Cunningham and Jeff Easterday of Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth, LLP will present on estate and business planning for farm clients, and advising clients on recent food safety regulations will be presented by our own OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program.  An update from the Ohio Department of Agriculture will feature Deputy Director John Schlichter.

New this year are changes to the location and timing of the Symposium.  The  conference will be held at Cherry Valley Lodge near Newark, Ohio, and will begin on Sunday evening with a bonus 2.5 hour CLE session on Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Substance Abuse.   Ethics and substance abuse topics will be delivered via video replay and speakers Allen Olson and Cari Rincker will cover the professionalism component with strategies for developing and retaining farm and agri-business clients.  The Sunday session will conclude with a social reception. Also new this year, the Ohio State Bar Association Agricultural Law Committee will meet on Monday morning.

Law students interested in attending the Symposium may apply for student scholarships provided by the Paul L. Wright Chair in Agricultural Law Endowment Fund at Ohio State.  Contact Peggy Hall at farmoffice.osu.edu for scholarship information.

To register for the Symposium, visit the Ohio State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education website at www.ohiobar.org. View the complete Symposium brochure on the OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law website.

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Ohio attorneys involved in AALA's 32nd annual conference

The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) has hosted another excellent educational event, recently concluded on October 22 in Austin, TX.  Approximately 250 attorneys, law students and professionals across the United States attended the conference.  Ohio attendees were visible on the program in several ways, including:

  • Paul L. Wright of Wright Law Co., LPA presented on “Estate Planning in a Climate of Change.”
  • Robert Moore of Wright Law Co., LPA presented on “Partnerships:  the Neglected, the Disaster and the Desirable Plan.”
  • Peggy Hall of The Ohio State University presented on “Animal Welfare Litigation Impacting Livestock Producers: Emerging Issues.”
  • Larry Gearhardt of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation received an AALA Excellence in Agricultural Law award.
  • Peggy Hall of The Ohio State University was inducted as the AALA’s President Elect.

Nashville, Tennessee is the site of the AALA’s 2012 conference, which will take place October 19-20.  For more information on the AALA, visit http://aglaw-assn.org.

Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium will take place September 17, 2010

Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio State Bar Association will again partner to provide the third annual Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium on September 17, 2010.  The continuing legal education event targets the educational needs of attorneys who work in agricultural and rural arenas.  Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer leads our slate of speakers; he'll provide an update on relevant case law impacting agriculture.  Joining the Justice will be  Jesse Richardson, Assoc. Prof. from Virginia Tech and Policy Advisor for the Water Resources Council, who will address water law and ethics in counseling farm families.  Duane Siekman, CEO of the Ohio Corn Growers and Ohio Wheat Growers Associations, will present on energy and agriculture, and  Tony Logan, Ohio's USDA Rural Development State Director, will provide an update from his office.  The local food and farming landscape, a growing practice area for agricultural and rural attorneys, will be the topic of discussion from Jill Clark with OSU's Center for Farmland Policy Innovation.  Attorneys Robert Moore and Dave Pennington of Wright Law Company will present on proving damages in agricultural litigation, and attorneys David Pryor and Greg Flax will lead a panel discussion on growing the agricultural law practice.  I'll provide a presentation on the legal issues attendant to undercover operations on the farm. 

The Symposium will take place at The Ohio State University on the Friday before an Ohio football showdown between OSU and Ohio University--attorneys can come for the education and stay for the game.  For more information, visit the Ohio State Bar Association CLE link at http://www.ohiobar.org or click here for the Symposium Brochure 2010.

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