GMA Litigation Webinar: Current Issues in the Food, Beverage, and Consumer Packaged Goods Industry

Speaker Biographies


Sarah L. Brew, Esq. Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Sarah Brew leads the firm's food litigation and regulatory team and is a member of the firm's food and agriculture industry group. The food litigation and regulatory practice is nationally ranked by Chambers USA along with only seven other national firms. Sarah has a national reputation for effectively representing food processors, distributors and retailers in foodborne illness and contamination cases, defending them against product liability, labeling and class action claims and representing them in complex commercial litigation and supply chain disputes.  She has served as national counsel in cases arising from many recent outbreaks, involving products such as eggs, spinach, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, peanut butter, beef products, poultry products and pet food.

Sarah also counsels and provides risk management advice to food and dietary supplement clients on labeling and regulatory compliance matters, including the Food Safety Modernization Act, product recalls and reportable food registry events, FDA and USDA inspections and enforcement actions, supply chain management, and HACCP and production issues.

Suzan F. Charlton, LLP Covington & Burling LLP

Suzan Charlton is special counsel in the firm's Washington, DC office.  She has represented policyholders in insurance coverage disputes for more than 15 years.  Her litigation and settlement experience encompasses a wide range of businesses, including oil and gas companies, industrial manufacturers, railroads, food and grocery manufacturing companies, hotel chains and country clubs.  She also has handled insurance claims on behalf of indigent clients and non-profit organizations.  Ms. Charlton has handled all aspects of complex insurance coverage litigation, including trials, and has successfully negotiated numerous substantial insurance coverage settlements.

In addition to her insurance experience, Ms. Charlton has also handled a broad range of other matters, including patent and trademark litigation, employment law matters and antitrust investigations.  She also lectures extensively on insurance and other topics in CLE programs and universities, including past service as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, University College, and as a guest lecturer at the University of Connecticut School of Law.


Corey L. Gordon Blackwell Burke P.A. 

Corey Gordon is a partner at Blackwell Burke P.A.  Previously Mr. Gordon was a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. and a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Minnesota. Mr. Gordon is admitted to practice in the state and federal district courts of Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin, as well as the First, Second, Third, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Mr. Gordon is a frequent speaker on the use of expert testimony in litigation.  His recent presentations have offered a practical discussion of successful approaches to Daubert motions and jury trials, including discovery and research, finding and working  with real experts, graphics and demonstrations, persuasive arguments, effective cross examination, and how to “bring home” a defense verdict.

Steven Leslie, Esq. Grocery Manufacturers Association

Steven Leslie, a 1999 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, joined the GMA Claims Program in November of 2002 shortly after moving to Washington, D.C.  Steven became the Manager of the Claims Program in 2007, and became the Senior Manager in January of 2011.  While working at GMA, Steven also obtained his law degree from the George Washington School of Law, graduating with honors in May of 2011.

As Senior Manager and Counsel, Steven oversees all Claims Program operations.   These operations include litigation management, non-litigated claims handling, laboratory testing, and claims system reporting.  Steven also has primary oversight of all Claims Program conferences and webinars, including the annual Food Claims and Litigation Conference, Consumer Complaint Management Conference, Food, Beverage and CPG Litigation Webinar, and Consumer Complaint Management Webinar.

Allen Melton Ernst & Young LLP
*coming soon

Bradley Nichols Ernst & Young LLP

Mr. Nichols is a Senior Manager in Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) practice in Washington, DC.  The focus of Mr. Nichols’ practice is complex insurance claims and dispute-related services as a member of the Insurance Claims Services (ICS) team within FIDS. 

Mr. Nichols has assisted companies with the preparation, presentation, and settlement of their claims resulting from catastrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, floods, as well as product recall and other catastrophes.  His experience in the above areas includes both public and private companies in various industries, including Hospitality (Hotel, Gaming, & Golf), Petrochemicals, Complex Manufacturing, Consumer Products, Food and Beverage, Retail, Mining, and High Tech. He has had the opportunity to work closely with policyholders, brokers, adjusters, and attorneys in the resolution of these complex claims.

Mr. Nichols has significant experience dealing with global property damage and business interruption claims including experience in Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

In addition, Mr. Nichols is a frequent speaker and has published articles on complex business interruption and property damage claims.  He has also taught courses on financial modeling, economic damages, lost profits, and property damage and business interruption insurance claims.