UPDATED: Judge: Labor Department coerced blueberry growers

01/21/2014 01:37:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Timothy Bernasek, attorney for the growers, said his clients feel vindicated.

“The waiver of appeal rights without having investigative findings provided is incredibly heavy-handed,” said Bernasek, a partner in Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue LLP, Portland.

“I’ve never heard of them doing that before,” he said. “They used a consent judgment process as a requirement to lift their hot goods objection, at least once in Washington the summer before. But they didn’t require a waiver of appeal rights. Here there was no semblance of due process and I think the judge saw through it.”

The Labor Department has until Feb. 28 to file objections to Coffin’s findings and recommendations, after judge Michael McShane granted an extension Jan. 21 beyond the 14-day window.

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