Atlantic Legal Now Lead Counsel in Chicago Foie Gras Case


Atlantic Legal is now lead counsel in Illinois Restaurant Association v. City of Chicago, now on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Our brief was filed on December 17, 2007, and we anticipate oral argument of the appeal in early 2008. Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver, which was lead counsel in the district court proceedings, is now of counsel to the Foundation.

Atlantic Legal’s appellate brief argues that the district court improperly dismissed the complaint at the pleading stage, because even if the ordinance does not discriminate against out-of-state business on its face, it has discriminatory effect and because the district court failed to balance the impact on interstate commerce of Chicago’s ordinance banning sale of foie gras in restaurants against the non-existent or very slight legitimate local interest served by the ordinance, as required by numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including one handed down in April 2007.

As previously noted, and as we argue to the appellate court, if Chicago’s ordinance is not declared unconstitutional, it could lead to many, many other local governments adopting laws based on their desire to discourage conduct of which they disapprove, but which takes place solely outside their jurisdiction and which has no discernible effect within their borders, leading to the creation of a patchwork of regulation that interferes with interstate and foreign commerce.

To read the Foundation’s brief, click here.