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Legal Ethics

Ark. Lawyer Is Reprimanded re Business Venture That Labeled Ordinary Tomatoes as Organic

Posted Oct 25, 2011 12:48 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In an order and findings (PDF) filed last week, attorney S. Graham Catlett was reprimanded and fined $1,500 by the professional conduct committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The issue was the Little Rock lawyer's partnership in an organic tomato-growing venture. In 2005, the crop failed and the business purchased non-organic tomatoes and sold them to customers labeled as organic as a stop-gap measure until another source of organic tomatoes could be found, the filing explains. Catlett's partner in Vestal Organic Foods Inc., who was both a farmer and an accountant for the venture, now works for the Internal Revenue Service and blew the whistle on the deception.

Hat tip: Arkansas Blog (Arkansas Times) and Legal Profession Blog.

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