I'm a leading Food Law & Policy author, attorney, scholar, faculty member, expert, speaker, pundit, and more.
Author. I am the author of Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press 2016). In the book, I expose the countless ways that federal, state, and local food rules often hamper sustainability efforts.
Expert. I served as a paid expert witness in a successful federal First Amendment food-labeling lawsuit, Ocheesee Creamery v. Putnam, that's been covered by the New York Times and other major publications. In my capacity as an expert, I researched, wrote, and submitted an expert report on behalf of the plaintiff creamery and was deposed by the Florida Dept. of Agriculture, the defendant. I also wrote and submitted a key amicus curiae brief in Horne v. USDA, the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called "raisin takings case." I also led more than a dozen fellow faculty in crafting a joint amicus brief in an important Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals animal-agriculture case. Most recently, I wrote and submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of two national nonprofit groups that support overturning California’s foie gras ban. I’ve also submitted verbal and/or written testimony to the New York City health department, Washington, D.C. city council, and Vermont state legislature. And I've lectured on the past, present, and future of U.S. food-safety laws to visiting Chinese food-safety regulators, among others.
Pundit. You've likely seen me on TV, heard me on the radio, and read me in print. I've offered expert commentary on NBC, MSNBC, NPR, Fox Business Channel, BBC Radio, Al Jazeera, and more than 150 other radio and TV programs across the country and around the world. I have been quoted by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Politico, Wilson Quarterly, ABA Journal, National Review, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Voice of America, and many others. My opinion pieces and articles on food and law have been published by the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Des Moines Register, Baltimore Sun, Newsweek, Playboy, Huffington Post, VICE, New Food Economy, Delaware Journal of Public Health, and many others. I've written a weekly food-law column for Reason for the past six years.
Attorney. I'm a member of the Maryland bar, the bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court bar.
Professor. I serve as an adjunct law professor at George Mason University Law School, where I've taught the Food Law & Policy Seminar, and adjunct faculty member at American University, where I've taught undergraduate courses on food policy.
Nonprofit Board Member. I serve on the board of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which defends the rights of family farms and consumers. I am also one of seven founding faculty board members of the Academy of Food Law & Policy, which is dedicated to the study and promotion of this growing field.
Scholar. My scholarly writings have appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Chapman University Law Review, Northeastern University Law Journal, Journal of Food Law & Policy, and elsewhere. I've been cited in dozens of top law reviews and journals, including the Stanford Law Review; Duke Law Journal; Cornell Law Review; Southern California Law Review; George Washington Law Review; Minnesota Law Review; Notre Dame Law Review; Yale Journal of Health Policy Law & Ethics; Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy; Journal of Law & Education; and Food & Drug Law Journal. I am also cited in Food Law in the United States, the first treatise on food law.
Speaker. I have presented my scholarly research at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, and University of Chicago Law School—each on multiple occasions—and at Duke Law School, Tulane Law School, Pepperdine Law School, University of Kentucky Law School, UCLA, and many other top law schools and universities. I've also spoken at think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and Urban Institute and at regional and national conferences in cities around the country.
Leader. I founded and led Keep Food Legal, the nation's first and only "food freedom" nonprofit.
Peer Reviewer. I've served as a peer reviewer for a number of scholarly journals, including the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Gastronomica.
Organic gardener. I maintained a plot in an organic community garden in Seattle—where I raised tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, beans, herbs, and berries—for two years. I kept a similar plot in a Washington, D.C. Victory Garden for several years.
Volunteer. In addition to my unpaid work serving on nonprofit boards and volunteer work I do in my community garden, I serve as a volunteer Food Recovery Ambassador and Food Recovery Committee member with FareStart, a Seattle nonprofit, as they work to expand their outreach to farmers, food hubs, and others in service of reducing food waste, combating food insecurity, and training culinary professionals. I'm a regular volunteer at Seattle's Swedish Club—where I bus tables during their great pancake breakfasts—and also volunteer at a local food bank.
Finally, I'm what you might call a firm believer in the power of higher education. I earned an LL.M. in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where I was the Leland Leatherman Fellow; a J.D. from Washington College of Law, where I served on the editorial board of the Administrative Law Review; an M.A. in learning sciences from Northwestern University, where I also served as a teaching assistant; and a B.A. in sociology from American University.