Blog Authorship

Olivia is a regular contributor to the firm's Animal Law blog, which covers a wide range of legal issues related to the equine industry, medical research, livestock agriculture, veterinary medicine, companion animals and other topics; and Fox's It's Just Business blog, which provides analysis of North Carolina Business Court decisions.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Part 2: What can employers in the agricultural industry do to protect their employees from COVID-19 and prevent strikes? In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed the new interim guidance for meat processing plants.  To combat concerns of a devastating reduction in our food supply chain, President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring processing plants to stay open.  Despite that order, some employees at these processing plants have expressed an intent not to return to work.  So, what options do employers have if their workers refuse to work? First, as the interim guidelines suggest, employers should follow the guidance... More
  • Part 1: What can meat processing facilities do to protect their essential employees from COVID-19 and comply with federal and state guidelines. Workers in essential industries are increasingly concerned about their health and safety in the workplace. This is most clearly evidenced by the recent strikes, or threats of strikes, by employees at large manufacturing and distribution centers. Further, meat processing plants are reporting an increasing number of employees contracting COVID-19, requiring these plants to shut down or consider shutting down. Agricultural workers have been deemed essential by every state. These employees are essential to maintaining the health and welfare of the... More
  • Business Interruption Claims-A Brief North Carolina-Based Overview In the current coronavirus pandemic environment, many businesses and their insurance carriers are (or soon will be) looking at the issue of claims for “business interruption.”  While there is not a large body of caselaw in North Carolina or the Fourth Circuit devoted to such claims, below are summaries of a few cases that address this type of coverage. In Prudential LMI Commercial v. Colleton Enterprises, Inc., 976 F.2d 727 (4th Cir. 1992), the Fourth Circuit gave a concise summary of... More
  • Regulatory Standards for Pet Grooming Products Last month, I listened to a podcast interviewing the owner of Straight Arrow, the parent company that produces Mane and Tail and Cowboy Magic products. As a lifelong horse owner (including several grey horses that love mud), I cannot remember a time when I did not have a Mane and Tail and/or Cowboy Magic product in my tack room. The interview took place after the podcasters toured the Cowboy Magic manufacturing facility, which, according to the podcast interview, is a... More
  • Think First Before You Raffle Off That Animal A disturbing new trend has been developing on Facebook: raffling off animals. For example, a well-bred registered Quarter Horse yearling was recently offered for sale through a raffle on a local North Carolina equestrian page. The seller offered 100 spots, each selling for $40. Bidders paid the seller directly through PayPal for a slot, and when all of the slots were filled and paid in full, the seller held a random drawing and a winner was announced. The winner got... More
  • Federal Court Upholds Disqualification of Maximum Security in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Part 2 As mentioned in Part 1 of this blog, a district court in Kentucky recently dismissed the appeal brought by Maximum Security’s owners to overturn his first place disqualification in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Part I of this blog explained the court’s dismissal of the Wests’ state law claims. The court also dismissed Plaintiffs’ due process claims, primarily on the grounds that the Wests were not deprived of any due process rights. Id. at 9-10. The Due Process Clause prohibits the government... More
  • Federal Court Upholds Disqualification of Maximum Security in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Part 1 Maximum Security’s owners cannot challenge the Kentucky racing officials’ disqualification of Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby, according to a recent federal court decision. West v. Kentucky Horse Racing Comm., No. 5:19-211, 2019 WL 6053014 (E.D. Ky. Nov. 15, 2019). As you may remember, Maximum Security finished first in the Kentucky Derby earlier this year, but his first-place finish was unanimously disqualified by the racing stewards after it was determined that the horse interfered with the travel of two other... More
  • Best Practices for Meat Producers Beef producers and packers have been required for years to “identify hazard points and critical points during beef slaughtering, which is a necessary first step toward developing a hazard analysis and critical control point system to control meat contamination by Escherichia coli O157:H7.”  See R. Guyon, et. al, Hazard Analysis of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Contamination during Beef Slaughtering in Calvados, France, J. Food Protection, Vol 64, No. 9, 2001, pp 1341-1345.  While protecting the health of employees and customers is of... More
  • North Carolina expands protections for its farmers under the Right to Farm Act. In 2014 and 2015, 26 nuisance lawsuits representing over 500 North Carolina residents were brought against Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, in North Carolina federal court.  The lawsuits involve 89 hog farms or “CAFOs” (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) in Eastern North Carolina.  Although Murphy-Brown owns some of the farms itself, in most instances, Murphy-Brown contracts with independent farm owners.  Under these arrangements, the hog farmers own the farm but Murphy-Brown owns the hogs and sets the operational rules.  The... More