Richard T. Rossier has specialized in commercial and business litigation for over 30 years. Since joining the firm in 1991, he has concentrated his practice in the area of agricultural law and litigation.
Mr. Rossier has a lengthy list of reported decisions, including his successful defense of a constitutional challenge to the Beef Promotion Act in Goetz v. Glickman, 149 F.3d 1131 (10th Circuit 1998), affirming, 920 F.Supp. 1173 (D. Kan. 1996), and in Charter v. USDA, 230 F.Supp.2d 1121 (D.Mont. 2002); his successful defense of a constitutional challenge to the Hass Avocado Promotion Act, Avocados Plus, Inc. v. Veneman, (No. 02-1798 (GK))(D.D.C. Feb. 14, 2003); his successful prosecution of a trademark infringement case against a major food service company in American Angus Association v. Sysco Corp., 829 F.Supp. 807 (W.D.N.C. 1992), and participated in the legal team prosecuting a civilsecurities fraud claim in Ohman v. Kahn, 685 F.Supp. 1302 (S.D.N.Y. 1988).
In Charter, Mr. Rossier, along with government lawyers representing the Beef Board and the USDA, urged the Court to rule that the speech of the Beef Board is government speech not subject to First Amendment limitations. The Charter Court agreed with this argument in November 2002 despite a rejection of the same argument in a similar challenge to the Beef Promotion Act months before by the South Dakota District Court (LMA v. Veneman, 207 F.Supp.2d 992 (D.S.D. 2002), affirmed by 8th Circuit (July 8, 2003), rev'd sub nom, Johanns v. LMA, 544 U.S. 550 (2005) (Supreme Court ruled that the Beef Promotion Act produces government speech immune from the First Amendment)). He has also participated in the preparation of an amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in Glickman v. Wileman Brothers, 521 U.S. 457 (1997), urging the Supreme Court to reject a First Amendment challenge to a federal commodity promotion law for California tree fruit. He also participated in the preparation of an amicus curiae brief in United States v. United Foods, Inc., 533 U.S. 405 (2001), that involved a First Amendment challenge to the Mushroom Promotion Act. More recently he participated in moot courts of Gregory Garre of Hogan & Hartson in connection with the oral argument at the Supreme Court of Johanns v. LMA.
In Cochran v. Veneman, 252 F.Supp.2d 126 (2003), Mr. Rossier, along with government lawyers representing the Dairy Board and the USDA, urged the Court to rule that the speech of the Dairy Board did not violate the First Amendment. This argument prevailed at the District Court but was later reversed by the Third Circuit in Cochran v. Veneman, 359 F.3d 263 (3rd Cir. 2004). Mr. Rossier filed a petition for certiorari seeking review by the Supreme Court. The U.S. Solicitor General also filed a petition. Following the Supreme Court's decision in Johanns v. LMA, the Supreme Court granted both petitions and vacated the judgment of the Third Circuit, and remanded for further proceedings.
Mr. Rossier has written several articles focusing on constitutional topics, including several that focus on the key First Amendment commodity promotion cases of Wileman Brothers and United Foods decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 and 2001.
B.A., cum laude, University of Michigan
J.D., cum laude, Georgetown University
Bar & Court Admissions
District of Columbia Bar
Maryland State Bar
Virginia State Bar
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit