NOBULL: Checkoff lawsuit in a holding pattern

Checkoff lawsuit in a holding pattern

By Lisa M. Keefe on 1/22/2013

A lawsuit filed last August charging that beef checkoff funds are being “misused” remains on hold pending the release of an audit of the USDA’s Office of Inspector General, according to documents filed in the case.

The OIG is examining the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s use of the beef checkoff funds.

This most recent order in the case extends a stay that was granted in October. At the time, the OIG’s report was due in mid-January; now, though, the report is due to be released in April. The stay has been granted to May 1.

Meanwhile, named plaintiff Michael Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct, a small producer and processor in Colorado Springs, said in a filing that he continues to seek new counsel. His original team of pro bono attorneys from the Polsinelli Shugart firm, based in Kansas City, Mo., withdrew from the case in December citing a conflict of interest.