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Shawn K. Stevens

Shawn K. Stevens, an equity member of the firm, is one of the only lawyers in America who dedicates his practice entirely to representing the food industry.

During the past decade, Mr. Stevens has counseled food industry clients throughout the country (including some of the nation’s largest food producers, national restaurant chains, and several food distributors and grocers) on a wide-range of food safety regulatory and liability issues.  Mr. Stevens works closely with food companies to identify and manage risk, plan and prepare for possible crises, and also respond appropriately to governmental enforcement actions and recalls.

Mr. Stevens has also defended food industry clients against high-profile foodborne illness outbreak claims in more than 2o states throughout the country (including Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin).  These have included outbreaks and claims involving a wide-range of foodborne pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Clostridium Perfringens, Norovirus, Salmonella and Staphylococcus.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Stevens also speaks regularly to national and international audiences on issues relating to food safety, regulatory compliance, crisis management, and foodborne illness outbreaks, recalls and litigation. Mr. Stevens has been asked to address these and other topics, throughout the country and abroad, at annual conventions and events hosted by the following groups and organizations:

  1. International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
  2. American Counsel for Food Safety and Quality (ACFSQ)
  3. North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP)
  4. National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST)
  5. American Spice Trade Association (ASTA)
  6. Food Marketing Institute (FMI)
  7. American National Standards Institute – Global Food Safety (ANSI)
  8. ASI Food Safety Consultants (ASI)
  9. Southwest Meat Association (SMA)
  10. Canadian Meat Council (CMC)
  11. Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF)
  12. Underwriters Laboratories – Global Food Safety (UL)
  13. Wisconsin Association for Food Protection (WAFP)
  14. UW Extension Food Microbiology Symposium (FMS)
  15. Arkansas Public Health Association (APHA)
  16. Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA)
  17. American Conference Institute (ACI)
  18. Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  19. Northestern University Food Law Symposium
  20. NAMP Annual E. Coli O157:H7 Conference
  21. Numerous national insurance companies

Mr. Stevens also maintains an extensive food safety website devoted exclusively to food safety issues, Defending Food Safety, and comments regularly on emerging food safety regulatory and litigation trends.  Mr. Stevens also serves as a weekly contributor to Meatingplace (as the author of its newest “Legally Speaking” Blog), writes a dedicated monthly food safety column for the National Provisioner, and is a regular contributor to Food Quality Magazine.

Mr. Stevens is also a member of the International Association for Food Protection, the North American Meat Processors Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Defense Research Institute, and the American Bar Association.  He is admitted to the United States District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  In addition to his extensive national food safety expertise, Mr. Stevens has developed additional, wide-ranging civil litigation experience, defending clients in a wide-variety of personal injury, commercial, insurance, property, environmental, civil rights and medical malpractice disputes.

Mr. Stevens has also been recognized by his peers as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer Rising Star, and was recently selected as one of Milwaukee’s “Forty Under 40.”

Mr. Stevens received his undergraduate and Honors Degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Mr. Stevens earned his law degree, cum laude, from Marquette University Law School where he served as article editor for the Law Review, and authored “The Wisconsin Deadman’s Statute: The Last Surviving Vestige of an Abandoned Common Law Rule.”

Prior to receiving his undergraduate and law degrees, Mr. Stevens also served as a Cavalry Scout for three years in the United States Army. During this period, he was deployed to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope. Following active service, Mr. Stevens joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard where he served part-time, until 2001, concluding ten years of military service at the rank of staff-sergeant. In addition to his military service, Mr. Stevens has remained active in his community as well, serving for nearly a decade as an elected representative on a local village board, and chairing various local community groups.