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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Joe Canada!

When innovation meets the law, the results are often surprising.  We in Seattle are confronting this as ride services like Lyft compete with a regulated taxi industry. Now consider Pirate Joe’s, a business located in the upscale Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver, B.C..  I will let them describe their business model in their own words: Pirate … Continue Reading

Bernie Madoff and the Honey Trap (Revised)

Detecting fraud is art, not science.  Harry Markopolos, the man who figured out Bernie Madoff’s fraud well in advance of the regulators, was a competitor of Madoff’s, obsessed with figuring out why Madoff’s results were so stable in all markets.  Because of his obsession, and his instinctive knowledge of those markets, he knew that there … Continue Reading

The FDA Goes Gluten-Free: Let’s Speed It Up

The FDA’s final rule on gluten-free labeling was published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2013, with a mandatory date for compliance of one year thereafter, or August 5, 2014.  But the FDA makes clear that this is an outside date.  "However, as stated, FDA anticipates that manufacturers are likely to follow the requirements of the … Continue Reading

Vox Puffery, Vox Dei

There is a concept in the law called puffery and it’s great. I cannot prove that to you that it’s great, however, because a legal concept’s greatness or lack of greatness is something entirely personal. And that is an excellent introduction to the concept.   The case that brings up “puffery” is Viggiano v. Hansen Natural … Continue Reading

The FDA Goes Gluten Free: More to Come

We’ll have plenty more about the FDA gluten-free labeling rule that came out Friday.  While I’m still digesting the 95 pages of the release, I wanted to point out something in the FDA’s update that echoed what was in my last entry.  In describing why the FDA chose 20 ppm as the level below which an item … Continue Reading

I Can Believe It’s Got No Fat *

*  But then again, I’m a lawyer. In the fifth episode of "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy", by Douglas Adams, Peter Jones played The Book.  At one point, The Book gives some "helpful" information about the universe.  First, that it is infinite.  Next, it goes on to prove, through comical science and mathematics pulled … Continue Reading

Driving a Stake Into State Obesity Litigation

Everyone from the First Lady to the Mayor of New York to my own personal physician is on an anti-obesity campaign these days.  Michelle Obama generally operates by trying to instill healthy habits; my doctor simply says I will lose weight if I use more calories than I consume (which is why you’ll find my … Continue Reading

Turn your Bar Bill Into a Federal Case

A guy walks into a bar, orders some drinks, gets the bill and pays it, leaves and sues. A federal district court has no choice but not to dismiss his claim on the pleadings, but he is unlikely to prevail in the end, because he had no reasonable expectation he was going to negotiate a reasonable price with the bar, but rather that the bar was going to charge him its stated price.… Continue Reading

The Case That Makes You Go “Ewww”

A Washington Supreme Court decision, Bylsma v Burger King Corp., has decided that in Washington, under the Products Liability Act, an individual who claims damages for emotional distress in the absence of having actually consumed a product may bring a suit for damages. Other than proving "objective symptomology", the seller of that product will have no defense to the action.… Continue Reading

Food Security Act Doesn’t Apply to Proceeds

The Food Security Act of 1995 is part of a matryoshka of statutes.   In the center is the general rule of 9-320(a) of the UCC, that a buyer in the ordinary course of business takes free of a security interest created by its seller.  The next doll is the Farm Products Exception, which I wrote about here:  except, … Continue Reading

The Best Thing. Ever.

In the conclusion to Aaron Bobrow-Strain’s White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf, he describes how he, a home bread baker, captures the microbes for his homemade sourdough. It’s not what we’d call hygienic, but it also apparently makes a delicious bread. Bobrow-Strain’s own behavior is really what tells you his conclusion: where bread is concerned, everything … Continue Reading

Accident in Search of a Cause of Action: the Alaska Supreme Court Strikes Out

The Alaska Supreme Court has come down with a decision that appears to place any owner of premises, such as the fast-food restaurant in the case, at risk for any dumb thing a motorist who might claim to be patronizing the premises does on the way to the premises, even if illegal. The plaintiff need not be someone patronizing the restaurant, but just passing by on the way to other things. This is a bad decision, with a good dissent that shows why.… Continue Reading

Here’s a Pop Quiz

You can’t Google this and you can’t refer to anything but your own common sense: Is the following statement true or false? The regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance. I’ll be back with the "answer" tomorrow.… Continue Reading

Introducing David Goodnight

We at the Food Liability Law Blog, and at Stoel Rives, are extremely pleased that David Goodnight, one of our most noted trial lawyers, has agreed to join the team as a point person for food and beverage litigation.  David brings a wealth of trial experience as well as an incredibly calm "bedside manner" to … Continue Reading

Good luck, Ken (and Watch this Space)!

When Ken called me to tell me he was taking his new job at Kellogg’s, I immediately thought of this cartoon.  Growing up outside Detroit, a highlight of every summer was a trip to Battle Creek, where they let you tour the factory, and at the end would give you samples of the latest Kellogg’s … Continue Reading

Japan to World: Remember Me?

Way before Hurricane Irene, the earthquake in Richmond, the liberation of Libya, the death of Osama bin-Laden, the liberation of Egypt . . . way back in the mists of time, or, to be specific, March 11, 2011, there was an earthquake in Japan, and damage to nuclear power facilities that affected the safety of Japan’s food … Continue Reading
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