Whether you are involved in a contract dispute with a supplier of a product, a purchaser of your product, or have suffered injury to crops or livestock, certain steps need to be taken to protect your interests. The following steps are basic:
• Maintain legible copies of any contracts or purchase orders.
• Maintain any notes made during telephone conversations and any memoranda you may have made before or after the event causing you concern.
• Keep all correspondence received or sent before or after any agreements.
• To the extent you are in possession of brochures, catalogs or pamphlets, maintain them as part of your record of transactions.
• Regardless of the nature of your problem, if it can be photographed or videotaped, do so on a periodic basis.
• If you believe any dispute will not be resolved quickly, contact your local attorney. If he or she is not familiar with agricultural law, ask them to consult with one who is.
• If scientific issues are involved, contact your local County Agent immediately. If your local County Agent is not an expert on your problem, contact the nearest University which specializes in the type of problem you have and ask for a qualified person to come immediately.
• Have your attorney review any written agreements to check for time requirements for making claims, and review any statutory, Uniform Commercial Code, or administrative law requirements relative to filing claims timely with opposing parties and with any state or federal agency.
• After making contact with any scientific person, ask what should be preserved for the purpose of laboratory or chemical testing to help establish cause of loss and what testing can be done to rule out alternative causes.
Be advised relative to plant injury that you will face allegations that your own management practices, diseases, or insects caused the injury, and that those alternative causes, rather than a product, are responsible. Immediate documentation by qualified persons, legal and scientific, is imperative to protect your interests.
Sellers, Taylor & Morrison, P.A.
Law Firm | Live Oak, Florida
ERNEST A. SELLERS
LUCAS J. TAYLOR
PROBATE & ESTATE LAW
AGRICULTURE AND SEED LAW
FAMILY & DIVORCE LAW
108 West Howard Street
Live Oak, Florida 32064
Phone: (386) 208-1080
Facsimile: (386) 208-1090