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Government News & Information

Labor & Employment

Are ERISA Cases the Next Frontier in the Ever-Expanding Realm of Arbitration? The Implications of Munro v. University of Southern California in the Ninth Circuit

In a legal landscape that has resoundingly embraced arbitration, a recent Ninth Circuit case stands out for applying the breaks to binding arbitration in an ERISA matter. In Munro v. University of Southern California, 2018 WL 3542996 (9th Cir. July 24, 2018), the court found that employees pursuing a putative class action lawsuit for breaches of fiduciary duty related to their retirement plans under ERISA Section 502(a)(2) could not be compelled to arbitrate the dispute, even though their employment agreements included arbitration agreements.

Agriculture & Food

The USDA National Organic Program and the Effort to Maintain Organic Food Integrity

The organic food industry is the fastest-growing sector in American retail grocery sales, reaching $47 billion, or 6.4%, of total grocery sales of $822 billion in 2017. It is unlikely that any major law firm in America does not have clients that produce, transport, distribute, or sell organic foods. Advising food industry clients who inquire about the costs and benefits of the complex, critical, and often costly transitioning to organic certification requires an understanding of the basic regulatory issues presented in this article, including the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), international trade agreements, and standards for organic integrity.

Agriculture & Food

Can Nondairy Beverages Be Called Milk?

Consumers today can choose from among a broad variety of non-dairy beverage products that are marketed as “milk,” including “soy milk” and “almond milk.” This article discusses the issues related to using words originally associated with dairy products to identify plant-based products; the position taken or not taken by the FDA; the legislation that has been proposed to address the issue; and judicial decisions rendered on plant-based product manufacturers for using the word “milk” on their plant-based beverages’ labels. In addition, the authors compare how the issue has been addressed in Europe.

Agriculture & Food

The Regulation of Food Packaging

While there is general familiarity with food laws in the legal community, the laws and regulations governing food packaging are often less understood, even though they may have a significant impact on a food company’s success in marketing new products. This article explains how food packaging is regulated in the United States and how the U.S. regulatory scheme compares to other jurisdictions throughout the world; in addition, the authors provide insight to how many of the current food packaging regulations came about, including some recent updates to food packaging laws and regulations.