- Food & Agribusiness
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Animal Health
- Business Litigation
|Contact Info||Telephone: 402.434.8042|
|University ||University of Nebraska-Lincoln, B.S., Agriculture, 1998|
|Law School||University of Nebraska College of Law, J.D., with high distinction, 1991 Order of the Coif, American Jurisprudence Award for Trial Advocacy, Advanced Trial Advocacy, Arthur E. Perry Scholarship, Kutak Rock & Campbell Scholarship, National Trial Team, Roscoe Pound Memorial Award, Thomas Stinson Allen Award for Oral Advocacy, Nebraska Law Review, Executive Editor|
|Admitted||1991, Nebraska; 1991, U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska; 1995, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit; 2004, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois; 2005, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois; 2007, Omaha Tribal Courts|
Professional Associations and Memberships
Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys
•Nebraska Bar Association
•Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court
•U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, Federal Practice Committee, 2009-2011; Federal Practice Budget Committee, 2010-2011
With deep experience in agriculture and civil litigation, Gene has advised clients in Nebraska and nationally for more than two decades. He represents livestock breed associations and organic agriculture trade associations, bringing creative solutions to the business challenges faced by producers and processors in the agriculture and food industries. In addition, he frequently writes for agribusiness trade publications and speaks to organic industry groups.
Among Gene's agribusiness accomplishments are:
•Serving as special counsel for the U.S. government in an investment-fraud case with $3 billion in assets.
Defending cattle breed association against accusations that it engaged in monopolization and fraudulent conspiracy to control the national purebred cattle market.
Representing farmers in a class action case alleging commercial harm by cross pollination of genetically modified corn.
Gene's experience includes large, multiparty cases that involve medical negligence, dissolution of partnerships, intellectual property rights and wrongful death.
Awards and Recognitions
Great Plains Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2012, 2013
•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
•Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, Seeds of Justice Award, 2007
Family First, advisory counsel, 1999-2001
•Grace Chapel, Haiti ministries coordinator, 2010-2013
•Latino Berean Church, Advisory Board, 2000-2002
•Lincoln East High School hockey coach, 2005-2013
•Lincoln Ice Hockey Association, Board of Directors, 2005-2010; president, 2007-2010; youth hockey coach, 1998-2013
•Lost Lamb Rescue Mission, Board of Directors, 1999-2001
•YMCA youth baseball, football, soccer and softball coach, 1997-2006
•Zion Presbyterian Church, Board of Deacons, 1995-2007; deacon chair, 1997-2007
Representing defendant in a patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado involving a method of using genetic merit to determine relative value of feed animals.
•Special counsel to the Department of Justice's U.S. trustee in a complex cattle investment-fraud case with $3 billion in assets.
•Class counsel for farmers who alleged commercial harm by cross pollination of genetically modified corn.
•Advertising injury coverage litigation arising from insurer's refusal to provide defense to antitrust, Lanham Act and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims brought against cattle breed association.
•Challenged Nebraska tax commissioner's methodology for equalization of centrally assessed property on behalf of pipeline companies and public service entities.
•Defended cattle breed association in litigation asserting that association engaged in monopolization and fraudulent conspiracy to control American purebred cattle market.
•Class action litigation brought on behalf of foster children challenging defects in Nebraska foster care system.
•Took action against the City of Lincoln, Neb., in constitutional litigation against city arising from passage of anti-picketing ordinance that violated plaintiffs' First Amendment speech rights.
•Won a federal ruling that forced a Nebraska prison to accommodate the kosher food request of a Muslim inmate.
6.10.14 California Supreme Court to Decide Whether Organic Regulations Preempt State Consumer Labeling Claims Food & Agribusiness Blog
4.28.14 USDA Launches 2014 Farm Bill Implementation Website Food & Agribusiness Blog
4.26.14 Food Labeling at SCOTUS: Can FDA Compliant Labels Still be Deceptive? Food & Agribusiness Blog
3.10.14 Supreme Court Invalidates Patents on DNA Markers, Beneficial to Cattle Producers Food & Agribusiness Blog
2.24.14 An Organic Farmer Walks Into Monsanto... Food & Agribusiness Blog
2.01.14 Supreme Court Invalidates Patents on DNA Markers, Beneficial to Cattle Producers, The Register Food & Agribusiness Article
1.29.14 Jensen Brothers Sentenced for Listeria Outbreak: Lessons for Producers and Inspectors Food & Agribusiness Blog
1.20.14 All Natural Food Labeling Litigation: Would a Rose by Any Other Name Really Still Smell as Sweet? Food & Agribusiness Blog
12.23.13 FDA's New Guidance Document for Antimicrobial Use in Food Producing Animals: Significant Step Forward or Side-Step? Food & Agribusiness Blog
12.14.13 Chinese Executive Charged with Attempted Theft of Seed Technology in Corporate Agriculture Espionage Food & Agribusiness Blog
In The News
9.09.13 In Nebraska and Texas, 13 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named 2013 Super Lawyers/Rising Stars
1.11.13 Marnie Jensen Adds Depth to Husch Blackwell's Lincoln Office
10.15.12 A Combined 84 Husch Blackwell Attorneys are Named 2012 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Missouri and Nebraska
7.02.12 Husch Blackwell Expands Talent, Capabilities in Lincoln
Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com
GMO Labeling: Current Standards and Policies
Gene Summerlin, August 11, 2014
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that a battle is brewing over labeling foods which contain genetically modified ingredients. According to a recent New York Times poll, 93% of American consumers favor labeling of some type for foods that contain genetically modified organisms...
Food Labeling at SCOTUS: Can FDA Compliant Labels Still be Deceptive?
Gene Summerlin, April 30, 2014
On April 21, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company. This is perhaps the most interesting food labeling case to come along in, well . . . forever. What is at issue here? The central question is whether a food product label...
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