Richard Goldfarb

Richard Goldfarb

Rick Goldfarb practices primarily in the commercial, banking, corporate and securities law areas. He is experienced in complex commercial transactions, including foreign and domestic sales; secured transactions for banks, other financial institutions and borrowers; and in essentially all aspects of the Uniform Commercial Code. Rick also serves as a general corporate counselor. In the course of his career, he has represented lenders and borrowers in industries as diverse as fishing and shipbuilding, Alaska Native corporations and Indian tribes, timber and paper, agribusiness, and high technology.

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The Egg Salmonella Sentencing: An Exercise in Imagination

Indulge me for just a moment in an exercise in whimsy. Except as will be expressly described below, any resemblance to real persons or substances, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Imagine if you will that in the processing of a particular foodstuff, unless care is taken during certain steps, the foodstuff will provide the … Continue Reading

Is Paleo the New Black?

An article by two lawyers at Reed Smith, Drew Amoroso and David S. Reidy, entitled “Is ‘Paleo’ The Next Battleground In Food Litigation?”, reminded me of this prior article, the one I wanted to call “Don’t Make Artisan the New Natural”.   Their article is behind a pay wall, but it’s worthwhile reading if you can … Continue Reading

When to Call the Whole Thing Off

People who aren’t intellectual property lawyers often mix up trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret protection.  Each provides a different kind of protection for a different kind of property interest, and they generally don’t overlap.  There are also different protections awarded under federal and state (and sometimes foreign) law for different forms of intellectual property, … Continue Reading

POM Wonderful’s Belated Christmas Gift

Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed POM Wonderful a belated Christmas gift, and an unusual one at that. It reversed the denial of a preliminary injunction in a case it had brought against PUR Beverages, a d/b/a of Robert G. Hubbard, Jr., and the marketer of a beverage called “pŏm”. According to their … Continue Reading

No, You Can’t Pierce the Corporate Veil that Easily

With all the attention lately to the First Amendment rights of corporations, whether under the free speech or freedom of religion parts of that part of the Bill of Rights, we sometimes lose focus on the most basic benefit of incorporation:  the provision of limited liability to the owners and operators of a business.  This … Continue Reading

Why We Do the Things We Do: A Thanksgiving Reminder

Every year at this time, I try to think of things to write about that are a little different from the plethora of lawsuits that seem to arise like mushrooms whenever anyone makes a claim about food. This year, I’ve actually been fortunate to learn about a number of things that are simple reminders that ultimately … Continue Reading

The U.S. Loses Its COOL. Again.

As you have probably read, the United States lost another round in its fight with Canada and Mexico in front of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) over country of origin labeling (“COOL”) rules relating to beef and pork.  Unless an appeal is upheld, or our rules change, Canada and Mexico will have the right to … Continue Reading

This Email Isn’t Worth the Paper It Isn’t Written On

You know the old expression, variously attributed to Samuel Goldwyn and others, “ a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”  In fact, of course, unless the statute of frauds applies, an oral contract is as good as any other contract.  And an email contract, under E-SIGN, the Electronic Signatures in Global and … Continue Reading

Seed Libraries Don’t Breed Agri-Terrorism and Other Reasons We Are Not a Breaking News Blog

In July, there was a story going round about how the Seed Library at the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania was being shut down for fears of “agri-terrorism.” Indeed, according to one story, this was being done by the USDA and “Cumberland County Library System Executive Director Jonelle Darr was told that the … Continue Reading

New York “Big Gulp” Ban Bites It For Good

The New York Court of Appeals has ruled in the case of Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce v. New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to strike down, permanently, New York City’s attempted ban on sugar-based beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces.  As we suggested when the case was just before … Continue Reading

VPN and Pizza: The Right Way To Deal with Food Claims

An article in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal reminded me of a point I’ve been trying to make for years but didn’t have a good hook to do so.  Now that this idea is in print, I do, so here goes.   The article concerns a group called Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which gives pizzerias certificates called … Continue Reading

A Cereal. A Rabbi. A Peppercorn.

What can you say about an internet contracting strategy that died? I’m referring, of course, to General Mills’ abortive attempt to include new terms of service on all its internet and social media products, including an agreement to arbitrate and to waive any right to a class action, that came and went so fast I … Continue Reading

Locavore To the Max

Health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn has an interesting take in a new article on her Health Populi blog about "km zero", a food movement she describes as "the future of food."  Basically, it takes locavore standards to the max, seeking to source food as close to you as possible, for the freshest and the best ingredients, including … Continue Reading

POM Finds Class Decertification Wonderful

In a recent decision, Judge Dean Pregerson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California decertified the class in an action against POM Wonderful over health claims about its pomegranate juice. You know the juice, it’s the one in the cooler section of the grocery store in the glass jar that looks like a purple … Continue Reading

A “Vibe” is Not Enough: Ben & Jerry’s “All Natural” Case Loses Class Certification

You’ll remember the scene from "Casablanca." Ilse (Ingrid Bergman) comes in and Rick (Humphrey Bogart) says, "Your unexpected visit isn’t connected by any chance with the letters of transit. It seems as long as I have those letters, I’ll never be lonely." That’s sort of how I feel about "all natural" product labeling litigation. So … Continue Reading

California About to Adopt General Industrial Storm Pemit

Our colleagues at the California Environmental Law Blog note the General Industrial Storm Water Permit is slated for adoption on April 1, 2014.  Everyone in the California food industry from owners of feedlots to operators of manufacturing facilities will find this very important and should follow developments as Ryan Waterman and Missy Foster report on … Continue Reading

Is Soy Milk to Milk as E-Books are to Books?

I don’t think we need a lot of scientific research to determine why people drink soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk.  I’ll save some time and list them, not in any particular order: They are lactose-intolerant They are living a vegan lifestyle They prefer the taste to cow’s milk They prefer the nutritional profile … Continue Reading

FREE ABA Roundtable this Thursday

Our distinguished alumnus, founder and former fearless leader, Ken Odza, has sent out an invitation to a FREE ABA Roundtable this coming Thursday, December 12.  The topic is criminal prosecutions of food companies and their officers.  Contemplaying how one might become the subject of a prosecution may not exactly something that will fill you with comfort and joy this … Continue Reading

Seattle Weekly Story on Pirate Joe’s

I found this article in the Seattle Weekly on Pirate Joe’s operation to be quite interesting as a follow-up to our earlier article.  Of particular interest were the mix of goods, the markup. the volume he buys each week and that he dropped the "P" from Pirate Joe’s when he was first sued. My real … Continue Reading

RIP William Keene

Sad news out of Oregon.  Much of the work of detecting the cause of outbreaks is art, not science, and by all accounts he was an artist. … Continue Reading
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