Jason Klinowski is an Agricultural and Food Law Attorney at Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt LLC and a member of the firm’s Creditor Rights, Commercial Litigation, Regulatory, and Bankruptcy practice groups. In this capacity, Jason advises clients on a full-range of business and legal issues, including USDA and FDA regulatory compliance, supply chain and distribution transactions, and federal litigation.
His civil practice focuses on representing agribusinesses and food companies in complex commercial litigation, including bankruptcy matters and general counseling, where he works primarily on matters arising under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act, the Plant Protection Act, the Packers & Stockyard Act, the Capper-Volstead Act, the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 and other federal and state agricultural statutes.
Jason’s clients range in size from small privately held entities to Fortune 500 companies and are comprised of domestic and international companies in all segments of the food industry. He routinely works with cooperative associations, growers, producers, shippers, distributors, manufacturers, brokers, terminal market receivers, retailers, exporters and importers from across the nation. He also represents financial institutions and insurance companies in connection with their agricultural lending and underwriting practices and related litigation.
He is the editor of The Fresh Facts Blog, which provides legal and business insights to the fresh produce industry, and is a frequent speaker at various food industry events.
- Illinois Supreme Court
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
- United States Tax Court
- United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- United States District Court, District of Nebraska
- United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana
- United States District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Texas
- United States District Court, District of Maryland
- United States District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Michigan
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
- United States District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Arkansas
- The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL, J.D., 2004. Honors: Executive Editor, The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law.
- DePaul University - Kellstadt Graduate School of Business – Chicago, IL, MBA, Finance, 2014.
- The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, B.A., Political Science, 2000.
Representative Food Industry Experience
- Serves as Special PACA Counsel for the Debtor in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Allens, Inc., which is one of the largest privately owned canning companies in the country. Leads the Debtor’s efforts to defend against $19M+ in alleged PACA claims.
- Served as lead trial counsel for a Canadian produce company and successfully prosecuted a civil action against the USDA in order to quash the USDA’s assertion of jurisdiction over the company’s U.S. based subsidiaries under PACA.
- Served as lead PACA counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Pro’s Ranch Markets, which is a major retail grocery operation with several stores and distribution centers in multiple states.
- Served as special PACA counsel to one of the nation’s largest title insurance companies in connection with its efforts to underwrite the $1 B+ acquisition of over 200 grocery stores in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Fresh N’ Easy Neighborhood Markets.
- Served as lead trial counsel to hundreds of produce companies in successful efforts to obtain injunctive relief and has recovered millions of dollars under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
- Successfully defended a major food importer against allegations arising under the Plant Protection Act wherein the client faced tens of millions of dollars in fines. The USDA ultimately dismissed the allegations without imposing any fines.
- Represented a large publicly traded distribution company in connection with its efforts to manage an FDA inspection and to prepare the necessary 483 response, corrective action plan, and a food reconditioning plan. Ultimately, a state agriculture department adopted our food reconditioning plan as a model for handling large scale food adulteration cases.
- Represented a food manufacturer in connection with its efforts to classify and manage a food safety recall event from start to finish. This engagement required Freeborn to help the client develop, implement and manage its recall process and to liaison with the FDA to ensure step-by-step regulatory compliance.
Food Industry Activities, Memberships & Associations
- Editor of The Fresh Facts Blog, Providing Business and Legal Insights to the Fresh Produce Industry
- The National Agricultural Law Center - Contributing Author
- American Agricultural Law Association
- Member of Multiple Produce Marketing Associations (U.S. and Canada)