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Lawrence H. Meuers

Lawrence H. Meuers

Managing Member
Location:
Naples, Florida
Phone:
239-513-9191
Fax:
239-513-9677
E-mail:

Lawrence H. Meuers is an innovative and pragmatic legal strategist. He is an original thinker, a creative problem solver and a resourceful negotiator. Whether in the courtroom, at the negotiating table, or drafting a contract to protect his client’s rights, Larry is able to draw on his years of legal expertise, along with his personal working knowledge of the produce industry to analyze the issues and propose productive, realistic and cost-effective strategies. He is constantly striving to increase his understanding of the fine distinctions of law that affect his clients, often setting legal precedent or breaking new ground for the produce industry. Larry is a tireless advocate for his clients and for the legal concerns of the entire industry. He is respectful of the law and passionate about his profession and the produce community he serves. He prides himself on client service and satisfaction, and is proud to note that many of his clients have been with the firm for two decades or more. Larry was named a 2015 Top Rated Lawyer(TM) for litigation by Martindale-Hubbell. Larry is also the editor of, and a monthly contributor to the firm’s newsletter, “Produce and the Law,” which publishes weekly articles of important legal information and items of interest to members of the produce community, under the headline, “The PACA Law Perspective.”

Larry provides advice and guidance on the day-to-day legal challenges facing produce companies. His counsel is sought to clarify PACA and other laws, including those related to food safety, importing produce, transporting produce and specialized contract provisions. Larry analyzes business agreements, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and outlines potential risks. Larry reviews and drafts contracts pertaining to all aspects of the produce distribution chain from grower agreements, to transportation contracts, to retail supply agreements. He drafts contracts in plain English that clearly set forth the rights and obligations of each party.

Larry has litigated some of the most complex and high-value disputes in the history of the produce industry. He regularly represents produce businesses in civil litigation in state and federal courts, bankruptcy courts and before the USDA. He defends producers, distributors and transportation companies that have become the target of preference actions in bankruptcy, and represents produce businesses that face responsibly connected, misbranding or disciplinary actions when they have become the target of complaints alleging PACA violations. In addition, Larry conducts workshops, training and educational seminars, lecturing on the application of PACA and other laws as they pertain to his clients’ business operations.

Larry is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, and has lived in Naples, Florida, for nearly 25 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Nancy, and two children, who are both now experiencing college life. To maintain his Minnesota roots, Larry often visits family and friends, and is an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings.

Areas of Practice

  • Counseling clients regarding PACA and other Federal and State laws
  • Negotiating & drafting contracts for growing, marketing, sales & transportation
  • Litigation in Federal and State courts, bankruptcy courts and before the USDA
  • Training and educational seminars on PACA and other laws

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1988
  • Florida, 1992
  • California, 1998
  • New York, 2007
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Florida, 1993
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Middle District of Florida, 1993
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Texas, 1994
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of California, 1998
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California, 1999
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of California, 1999
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California, 1999
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of New York, 2007
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York, 2007
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 2007
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 2007
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2005
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1992

Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 1987
  • University of St. Thomas, St Paul, Minnesota
    • B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) - 1983
    • Major: Economics

Published Works

  • Legalese: Indemnity Clauses, Blueprints Quarterly Journal, Jul/Aug/Sept, 2012
  • Legalese: Sales Agents, Blueprints Quarterly Journal, Jul/Aug/Sept, 2010
  • Invoices and Trust Preservation, Blueprints Quarterly Journal, Oct/Nov/Dec, 2010
  • Bills of Lading, Blueprints Quarterly Journal, Jul/Aug/Sept, 2009
  • Court Orders: Use PACA Trust or Lose its Protections, Western Grower and Shipper, August, 1999
  • Complying with State and Federal Laws in Marketing Agreements, Produce Law Newsletter, Spring, 1998
  • Making the Most of the New PACA, for Growers and Shippers, Proper Invoicing is Key, Harvester Magazine, 1st Quarter, 1996
  • When Your Customer Isn't Paying, Part 1, Harvester Magazine, 4th Quarter, 1995

Representative Cases

  • In re Bissett Produce, Inc., (E.D.N.C. 2015) aff'd sub nom. Derek & Matthew Bissette Farms v. Bissett Produce, Inc., (4th Cir. 2015)
  • Sun Pac. Mktg. Co-op, Inc. v. DiMare Fresh, Inc., (9th Cir. 2015)
  • Martini E Ricci Iamino S.P.A. - Consortile Societa Agricola v. W. Fresh Mktg. Services, Inc., (E.D. Cal. 2014)
  • Martini E Ricci Iamino S.P.A. - Consortile Societa Agricola v. Trinity Fruit Sales Co., Inc., 30 F. Supp. 3d 954 (E.D. Cal. 2014)
  • VLM Food Trading Intern., Inc. v. Illinois Trading Co., (N.D. Ill. 2013), appeal dismissed (July 19, 2013), rev'd in part, 748 F .3d 780 (7th Cir. 2014)
  • Convenant Tomato Sales, Inc. v. Suttles, (M.D. Fla. 2011)
  • Sun Pac. Mktg. Co-op, Inc. v. DiMare Fresh, Inc. (E.D. Cal. 2011)
  • Kingsburg Apple Packers Inc. v. Ballantine Produce Co., Inc. (E.D. Cal. 2010)
  • Tonya Gladney, d/b/a Tonya Gladney Farms v. G and S Melons, LLC (Fla.Div.Admin.Hrgs. 2009)
  • Union Pac. R. Co. v. Inn Foods, Inc. (2nd Cir. Ct. of Appeals 2006)
  • Pac. Int’l Mktg., Inc. v. A & B Produce, Inc. (3rd Cir. Ct. of Appeals 2006)
  • Country Best v. Christopher Ranch, LLC (11th Cir. Ct of Appeals 2004)
  • Greg Orchards & Produce, Inc. v. Roncone (7th Cir. Ct of Appeals 1999)
  • Gargiulo v. G.M. Sales, Inc. (11th Cir. Ct of Appeals 1997)
  • In the Matter of the Claims Against the Wholesale Produce Dealer’s Bond of Helgemoe’s Produce, Inc., Principal (MN Off. of Admin. Hrgs 1993)
  • In re Harper (USBC, E.D. of TN 1993)

Classes/Seminars

  • Paca 101, An Overview, Red Book Credit Services & The Packer, 2002 - Present
  • PACA 101, Enforcing Your PACA Trust Rights, Nat'l Assoc. of Credit Managers, 2002 - Present
  • Hunts Point: The Future of Inspection Reform, Restitution, United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, 97th Annual Convention, 2001 - Present
  • PACA: Are you Within the Law?, PMA Fresh Summit 1999, Produce Marketing Association, 1999 - Present
  • Recent Changes in the California Food and Agricultural Code, Western Growers Association, 1998 - Present
  • Current PACA Law Issues, Western Growers Association, 1997 - Present
  • Legal Issues Workshop, Western Growers Association Annual Meeting, 1997 - Present
  • 1995 Amendments to PACA Statute, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, 1996 - Present
  • Enforcement of Claims Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and Packers and Stockyard Act in Bankruptcy Proceedings, American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, 1995 - Present
  • Produce Brokers: How It Was, How It Is, How It Will Be, United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, 88th Annual Convention and Exposition, 1992 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Young Men of America 1989

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar, Member, 1992 - Present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member, 1998 - Present
  • The State Bar of California, Member, 1998 - Present
  • Collier County Bar Association, Member, 1998 - Present
  • Western Growers Association, Member, 1999 - Present
  • Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Member, 1999 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Member, 2000 - Present
  • Produce Marketing Association, Member, 2000 - Present
  • United Fresh Leadership Program Alumni Association, Fellow, 2001 - Present
  • United Fresh Produce Association – Leadership Alumni Organization, Organization Member, 2001 - Present
  • United Fresh Produce Association – Leadership Alumni Organization, Board of Directors Member, 2002 - 2006
  • New York State Bar Association, Member, 2007 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Roland Marketing, Inc., General Manager, 1984 - 1989
  • Metro Packaging Corporation, Truck Driver, 1973 - 1983

Pro Bono Activities

  • Park Central Condominium Association, Member, 1999 – Present; President, 2008 - Present
  • Banyan Woods ACH Association, Member, 2013 - Present
  • North Naples Little League, 1999 - 2006

Languages

  • English

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Delta Epsilon Sigma
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon

Representative Cases

  • In re Bissett Produce, Inc., (E.D.N.C. 2015) aff'd sub nom. Derek & Matthew Bissette Farms v. Bissett Produce, Inc., (4th Cir. 2015)
  • Sun Pac. Mktg. Co-op, Inc. v. DiMare Fresh, Inc., (9th Cir. 2015)
  • Martini E Ricci Iamino S.P.A. - Consortile Societa Agricola v. W. Fresh Mktg. Services, Inc., (E.D. Cal. 2014)
  • Martini E Ricci Iamino S.P.A. - Consortile Societa Agricola v. Trinity Fruit Sales Co., Inc., 30 F. Supp. 3d 954 (E.D. Cal. 2014)
  • VLM Food Trading Intern., Inc. v. Illinois Trading Co., (N.D. Ill. 2013), appeal dismissed (July 19, 2013), rev'd in part, 748 F .3d 780 (7th Cir. 2014)
  • Convenant Tomato Sales, Inc. v. Suttles, (M.D. Fla. 2011)
  • Sun Pac. Mktg. Co-op, Inc. v. DiMare Fresh, Inc. (E.D. Cal. 2011)
  • Kingsburg Apple Packers Inc. v. Ballantine Produce Co., Inc. (E.D. Cal. 2010)
  • Tonya Gladney, d/b/a Tonya Gladney Farms v. G and S Melons, LLC (Fla.Div.Admin.Hrgs. 2009)
  • Union Pac. R. Co. v. Inn Foods, Inc. (2nd Cir. Ct. of Appeals 2006)
  • Pac. Int’l Mktg., Inc. v. A & B Produce, Inc. (3rd Cir. Ct. of Appeals 2006)
  • Country Best v. Christopher Ranch, LLC (11th Cir. Ct of Appeals 2004)
  • Greg Orchards & Produce, Inc. v. Roncone (7th Cir. Ct of Appeals 1999)
  • Gargiulo v. G.M. Sales, Inc. (11th Cir. Ct of Appeals 1997)
  • In the Matter of the Claims Against the Wholesale Produce Dealer’s Bond of Helgemoe’s Produce, Inc., Principal (MN Off. of Admin. Hrgs 1993)
  • In re Harper (USBC, E.D. of TN 1993)

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