DENVER, CO—Moore & Van Allen PLLC (MVA) is pleased to announce a major victory for its client, retired Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation CEO Bill Lovette, in a high-profile federal criminal antitrust case brought by the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division alleging a multi-year conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices in the national broiler chicken market in violation of the Sherman Act.
The first two trials, each lasting more than six weeks, ended in mistrials when the juries failed to reach a verdict on any one of the ten defendants. For the first time in its history, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division proceeded with an unprecedented third trial, which the government pursued against a smaller group of five defendants.
After more than a month of trial, including the Defense’s aggressive, fact-based defense case that included complex economic expert testimony, the jury found Mr. Lovette and the other defendants not guilty after less than one day of deliberation. “The quick verdict in favor of all five defendants vindicates these innocent men’s courageous decisions to fight the government’s baseless charges,” said Mr. Fagg.
In addition to Mr. Fagg, MVA’s team representing Mr. Lovette included partners Frank E. Schall and James P. McLoughlin, Jr., and attorneys Kaitlin M. Price, Catherine R. Prater, Katherine Clarke McDiarmid, Fielding E. Huseth, Drew P. Newman, and Alexis T. Narducci, among others.
Joining MVA in the defense of Mr. Lovette was Dru Nielsen, a seasoned trial lawyer in Denver. Ms. Nielsen was a true partner with MVA’s trial team.
The case is U.S. v. Penn, et al. (Case No. 1:20-cr-00152) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.