Agribusiness

Downey Brand’s Agribusiness Group helps clients thrive in one of California’s most regulated industries.

As home to the largest and most dynamic agricultural industry in the United States, California occupies a central position in the global agricultural economy. Downey Brand provides a full spectrum of legal services to those in the production, processing, and distribution of food and agricultural products, to the associations and agencies that represent them, as well as the companies that supply and support them.

Our attorneys have decades of practical experience handling complex legal matters and helping our clients thrive in a byzantine and ever-changing regulatory environment. Our broad expertise, industry knowledge, and unique capabilities have prompted clients — from farmers and ranchers to input suppliers, packers, and grocers — to choose Downey Brand.

We help clients tackle a wide spectrum of industry issues, including food labeling and packaging regulations, supply contracts and lease disputes, land use and permitting regulations, and water supply and water quality compliance. The litigators at Downey Brand work extensively at the federal, state and local levels representing clients in pesticide regulation and drift litigation, crop damage litigation, and wastewater regulation and hazardous waste handling. Additionally, many of our clients are family businesses both large and small and we work with them to address the particular issues of a family-owned enterprise including estate planning and succession.

As active participants in industry trade groups and associations our attorneys have firsthand knowledge of the specific concerns of specialized agribusiness industries across the state. We are involved with the legislative committees and agencies crafting the fluid regulatory environment in which the agribusiness industry operates today, so that we are better prepared to help our clients thrive tomorrow.


Selected Experience

  • Drafted production and supply contracts for many growers, packers, and processors
  • Represented large farming operations in the development of innovative conservation easements
  • Represented large dairy processor in a major wastewater discharge dispute with the Regional Water Board
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  • Drafted production and supply contracts for many growers, packers, and processors.
  • Represented large farming operations in the development of innovative conservation easements.
  • Represented large dairy processor in a major wastewater discharge dispute with the Regional Water Board.
  • Represented canning companies in major wastewater discharge disputes with the Regional Water Board.
  • Represented farmers and processors in contract and other commercial disputes.
  • Represented both farmers and applicators in pesticide spraying and drift cases.
  • Represented major grocer in significant acquisition and joint venture transactions.
  • Represented major agricultural lender in a lender liability dispute.
  • Represent grape growers regarding a proposed conditional waiver for agricultural and storm water runoff from vineyards and roads.
  • Represented major fruit processor in intellectual property licensing case.
  • Represented major fruit processor in bond and debt financing.
  • Represented food industry clients in food labeling, false advertising, product liability and Prop 65 cases, including class actions.
  • Represented major packer in real estate acquisition and buy-out of multistate competitor.
  • Served as lead trial and appellate counsel for ten major Sacramento River Settlement Contractors in their successful defense against an Endangered Species Act challenge to their Central Valley Project water supplies.
  • Represented egg producers in seeking clarification and/or invalidation of Proposition 2.
  • Represented livestock and egg farmers in actions filed by animal welfare advocacy groups.
  • Resolved problems with small wind turbine program run by the California Energy Commission for systems designed to be used on farms to reduce water pumping and other electrical loads.
  • Represented large canning company in class action defense.
  • Represented fertilizer manufacturer in product liability action.
  • Represented large forest products company in action by federal and state agencies to recover costs of fire suppression.
  • Represent grape growers in action to collect from wineries that delay or refuse payments for crop.
  • Represent industry associations in drafting, negotiating and passage of key statutes and regulations.
  • Represent grocery stores in actions to evict trespassing solicitors.
  • Represent grocery stores in compliance with environmental regulations.
41 Attorneys

Samuel E. Bivins

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5209 direct

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5254 direct

Kelly M. Breen

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5485 direct

Leila C. Bruderer

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5236 direct

David E. Cameron

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5214 direct

Sophia B. Castillo

Partner

San Francisco 415.848.4814 direct

Anthony S. Chavez

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5436 direct

Austin C. Cho

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5212 direct

Andrea P. Clark

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5424 direct

Joseph G. De Angelis

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5308 direct

Jamie P. Dreher

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5478 direct

Reno 775.329.5900 direct

Matthew W. Ellis

Partner

San Francisco 415.848.4846 direct

Cassandra M. Ferrannini

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5387 direct

Sean J. Filippini

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5430 direct

David M. Fox

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5219 direct

Dale Ginter

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5353 direct

Daniella G. Green

Associate

Stockton 209.472.3960 direct

Brian E. Hamilton

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5340 direct

Steven B. Hymas, II

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5538 direct

Nicholaus E. Johnson

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5384 direct

Joseph K. Little

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5203 direct

Thomas E. Marrs

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5210 direct

John C. McCarron

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5450 direct

Daniel J. McVeigh

Of Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5438 direct

Stephen J. Meyer

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5437 direct

James M. Morris

Counsel

Stockton 209.472.3910 direct

Kevin M. O’Brien

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5235 direct

Kathryn L. Oehlschlager

Partner

San Francisco 415.848.4820 direct

Kelly L. Pope

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5362 direct

James Robertson

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5363 direct

Reno 775.329.5900 direct

Steven P. Saxton

Of Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5435 direct

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5281 direct

Robert P. Soran

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5364 direct

Elizabeth B. Stallard

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5238 direct

Reno 775.329.5900 direct

M. Max Steinheimer

Counsel

Stockton 209.472.3926 direct

Sacramento 916.444.1000 direct

Dale A. Stern

Partner

Sacramento (916) 520-5250 direct

Michael J. Thomas

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5310 direct

Melissa A. Thorme

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5376 direct

Stan O. Van Vleck

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5440 direct

Matthew J. Weber

Partner

Stockton 209.472.3922 direct

Sacramento 916.444.1000 direct

Wiemond Wu

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5380 direct

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