Mediated a dispute among the family-owners of a large and successful commercial vineyard and winery. While the discussions included consideration of partitioning the business, settlement was achieved through resolving myriad non-economic issues and a buy-out by one side of the family of the entirety of the other side’s ownership, including all real property, business fixtures and assets.
Served as court-appointed discovery referee in a case involving water utilization disputes among adjoining landowners in Sutter County. Plaintiff had farmed hay since the 1950’s and Defendants, new owners of the adjoining property farmed rice. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant rice farmer had negligently graded his 150-acre parcel diverting excessive water onto Plaintiff’s property, significantly reducing the yields of hay.
Defended a large specialty nursery in the Central Valley in a case where an agricultural worker suffered a catastrophic loss of a limb while performing labor on the property. Case involved details about the overall operation of the nursery, consisting of >100 acres, including the details of planting, growing, and harvesting root stock that was then packaged and shipped all over the world. The various stages of the growing season, determined the specific need for contract laborers to plant, irrigate, prune, and remove the root stock for sale. Plaintiff was involved in patrolling the property on a graveyard shift to deter infiltrating pests.
An agricultural safety engineer testified on behalf of the defendant addressing the details of Plaintiff’s use of the agricultural vehicle involved in the accident, as well as OSHA rules Plaintiff’s claimed were violated in the management of the nursery.
Mediated a San Joaquin Valley case where owner claimed his irrigation contractor significantly damaged C & P tomatoes by failing to irrigate at proper intervals, resulting in a large loss of yield. A settlement was negotiated.
Represented Rohm and Haas Company, the manufacturer of Kelthane ™, in case where a North Sacramento Valley Farmer experienced an invasion of lygus bugs into his bean crops. The lygus bugs destroyed the flowers/sets of the Beans resulting in a substantial reduction in yield. Plaintiff claimed he had applied Kelthane as directed and that it didn’t work. The science involved bean crop growth stages, the impact of lygus bugs if they are not controlled, the effect of Kelthane on lygus bugs, and how the chemical was applied in this particular case were all explored. The case was settled.