Legal Ethics

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


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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