Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Proving Anti-Competitive Conduct in the U.S. Courtroom: Economic Issues with the Courts' Opinions in Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc

Contents:

Author Info

  • Taylor C. Robert

    (Auburn University, Alabama)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Four articles have been published in this Journal about the historic cattle trial, Pickett v Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., in which Plaintiff cattlemen alleged that Tyson/IBP—the buyer—used captive (contracted) supplies of cattle to manipulate the cash market in violation of the 1921 Packers & Stockyards Act (PSA). The first article gave a Trial's eye view by David Domina who served as co-lead counsel representing Plaintiff cattlemen. Domina's article led to a published comment by Thomas Green who was the lead attorney representing Tyson during the Trial phase of lengthy legal proceedings. Green alleged that Domina's article was "littered with rank speculation and baseless opinion." Domina countered that "proof is not litter, and evidence is not rank speculation" and that Green's commentary was "abusive." The adversarial exchange between Domina and Green was followed by another advocacy article in which William Rosales maintained that Pickett "represents an opportunity for the judiciary to reform the meatpacking industry (and) awaken the (PSA's) intended power to dethrone the economic kings of the meatpacking industry."After a five week Trial in Federal Court, the Jury found Tyson/IBP guilty on all counts and assessed actual damages of $1.28 billion over 2/1994 -10/2002. Justice for Plaintiff cattlemen was short, as the Trial Judge set aside the Jury's verdict—a rare but not unprecedented legal action—and entered summary judgment for Tyson. The Eleventh Appellate Court subsequently sided with the Trial Judge. On March 24, 2006, the United States Supreme Court denied without comment Plaintiff's Petition to rehear the case, thus ending legal activities in Pickett v Tyson and effectively killing similar legal action pending against two other major beef packers, Excel (Cargill) and Swift (ConAgra).This article emphasizes three significant and troubling legal and economic issues from the historic litigation: (1) the Courts' narrow and extreme interpretation of the antitrust rule-of-reason; (2) the Courts' endorsement of a "meeting the competition" defense, and (3) whether the Courts inserted themselves above the Jury as fact-finders in the case, contrary to the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that establishes the Jury as the only fact-finder in civil litigation.In essence Pickett was filed under the Packers and Stockyards Act, tried under Sherman and Clayton antitrust law, and overturned, in part, under the Robinson-Patman Act.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jafio.2006.4.1/jafio.2006.4.1.1148/jafio.2006.4.1.1148.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (December)
    Pages: 1-29

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:4:y:2006:i:1:n:9

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jafio

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. User:Ammodramus/Draft3 in Wikipedia (English)
    2. David Domina in Wikipedia (English)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:4:y:2006:i:1:n:9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.