Update (August 23, 2012): The PRRS (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome) virus obviously has harmed the business of hog farmer, Myron Smith. But did it come from Genetic Depot’s tainted boar semen? Maybe the PRRS virus came from another source or multiple sources? Did PRRS destroy Smith’s business, or were there other causes? Is a sales pitch that understates risks, overstates the upside potential, and disclaims warranties, simply an inevitable aspect of any market and particularly innocuous between two sophisticated business people or is it actionable? Who should be financially responsible for Smith’s losses?
Original Post (February 4, 2011): Years ago, I had the honor of working alongside a preeminent Montana lawyer with the memorable name of Ronald McDonald who joked about the disconnect between his law school dreams of an Olympian life in the law — perhaps he’d eventually be a distinguished appellate judge? — and his real-life day-to-day practice which, in his case, once meant enduring a visit to the site of a railroad accident outside Yellow Knife in the Northwest Territories in the dead of winter. (Incidentally, this was one small part of McDonald’s generally highly successful record of excellent legal work for decades).
The fact is, while many of us can boast of ties to class-mates on distinguished courts or with inspiring national practices (and a few of us have the skills and good fortune to attain those lofty heights), by and large most of the nation’s lawyers are dealing with somewhat less glamorous disputes — the blood, guts, and other bodily fluids of real life…
So, what’s a litigator to do when someone’s apparently gotten a load of allegedly tainted boar semen?
Sue it out, of course. Cameron D. Davis, of the Austin, Minnesota lawfirm of Hoversten, Johnson, Beckmann & Hovey LLP, counsel for plaintiff hog farmer, Myron Smith, probably did not see this in his legal future before he joined the Minnesota bar just a few years ago but, on the other hand, a farmer whose business was apparently destroyed by disease obviously could use some legal help.