Few law firms understand livestock, crops, and dairy production and markets,
even in the Nebraska and Iowa. This is proven by the limited number of
agricultural marketing and contract cases filed and handled in court.
Domina Law Group is one of the few firms with wide ranging experience in
these areas. We have handled marketing and transactional litigation involving
beef cattle, cows and calves, dairy cows, embryo transplantation, hog
contracts, packer contracts, and we have consulted in poultry grower cases.
Our work with growing crops and crop marketing covers corn, soybeans,
hay, specialty crops, raisins, commodities contracts,
antitrust issues, and a wide range of others.
We have stood up for clients in court in cases involving:
- Hedge-to-arrive corn cases
- Captive supply animal slaughter contracts
- Banking claims
- Livestock breach of warranty claims
- Supply contracts
Our firm routinely counsels producers entering marketing arrangements and
advocates for producers in contract disputes with meat packers, poultry
processors, or other businesses. We offer value negotiations and dispute-prevention
services in such cases, and we have helped with cases from New York to
California and from Michigan to New Mexico.
Michael Stumo, a Domina Law Group lawyer, has a deep background knowledge of
agricultural law and production. He recently prevented six figure losses for a Nebraska
hog farm in a contract dispute with a major pork packer. The pork packer
offered a three year contract with specific hog quality and pricing terms.
But after the ink was dry, the packer sought to increase quality discounts,
lowering the price on over 100,000 hogs per year. We intervened immediately
analyzing the contract, assessing the producers business, and concluding
the packer breached the contract. The packer agreed to honor the original
contract terms. Large producer market losses were averted. Stumo is an
Iowa farm kid turned lawyer.
In another case handled by Mr. Stumo, a Nebraska hog farm entered a long-term
contract to purchase hundreds of thousands of isowean (10 lbs) pigs from
a South Dakota farrowing company. Four months into the contract, the farrowing
company threatened to terminate pig deliveries without contract re-negotiation
and a price increase. Bankruptcy and pig delivery stoppage was also threatened.
Domina Law Group analyzed the financial documents, concluding the farrowing
company financial problems arose from insider preferences, not ordinary
cash flow problems. Bankruptcy was filed, Domina Law Group asserted financial
fraud, and a settlement was gained on terms advantageous to our client.
David Domina has represented producers and others in court in ag-related
cases since his first million dollar verdict, against the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation and others, in an Iowa case in 1973. Domina's
verdicts for producers range from successful defenses of adverse claims
to a class action verdict for $1.283 billion. Domina is a Nebraska farm
kid turned lawyer.
Our firm advises all clients to avoid
agricultural contracts requiring arbitration, waiving jury trial rights, and allowing unilateral
modification by the other side. These contract clauses and others incrementally
take rights from independent producers. "Large agricultural processors
have teams of lawyers working for them and not for independent producers,"
said Michael Stumo." Domina Law Group provides a strong counterweight
for our farmer, rancher and feeder clients."
Contacting Our Nebraska Agricultural Lawyers
Within recent weeks, our lawyers have consulted and negotiated contracts
for feeder pig supply, tried dairy and feedlot cases, evaluated crop and
crop production cases, and handled complex administrative litigation against
the USDA. Their 2005 work, alone has extended to the states of Arizona,
California, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota,
Ohio, South Dakota, Texas & Wyoming.