Checkoff Lawsuit Hits Bump In Road

The overwhelming majority of the beef industry was not happy when the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) announced it was going to sue every organization connected with the national beef checkoff, in an attempt to shut it down.  Most were even more shocked to find out that the Humane Society for the United States (HSUS) had helped do the legal research and analysis for OCM to help them evaluate a potential suit.

OCM had prevailed upon a law firm to take up the case for them on a pro bono basis and they actually finalized the complaint and filed it in August.  When the suit was actually filed, Mike Callicrate was listed as the plaintiff.

For a time, the proceedings were put on hold while the parties waited for the USDA Inspector General’s report to, perhaps, shed some light on issues involved.

The help for the OCM/Callicrate effort had been proffered by the Kansas City office of the law firm.  However, subsequent to the filing, the law firm discovered it had a conflict with another case for another client.  Regardless of discussions with the client, Mike Callicrate, who objected to their withdrawal from the case, the firm requested the district court in Kansas allow them to withdraw as counsel.  Callicrate filed an objection with the court, asking it to refuse to allow counsel to withdraw.

The court has now granted counsel’s request and Callicrate is without legal representation.  His motion stated that the withdrawal of this legal firm would, “make it impossible for me to continue this case.”  Whether that will remain so or whether Callicrate will find legal help elsewhere is the next question.

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Published in: on January 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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