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April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring? For the general counsel of lawn and garden care companies, the answers vary � a little wheezing, a little sneezing, and enough garden cleanup to warrant some outside help. We talked to the top lawyers at companies that help us abolish our bugs, whack our weeds, and keep our lawns lush and green. We were curious to see if they practice what they preach. Are these GCs as comfortable behind a mower as they are behind a desk? Do they relate to tillers as much as to tort defense? Would they rather litigate or irrigate? And if their job is to help companies grow, do they have the same effect on their gardens? We learned that working for lawn and garden care companies doesn’t guarantee a green thumb. And even though cut grass makes some of them break out in hives, come May, backyards beckon them all. David Aronowitz Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, The Scotts Company Scotts is the world’s largest maker and marketer of horticultural and turf products. The Ohio-based company produces brands such as Ortho and Miracle-Gro. Last year it had sales of $1.8 billion. Aronowitz supervises six attorneys. Do you have a garden? I just moved into a new house a year ago. I lived in my last house for ten years. Each year we improved our garden. It was extremely painful to leave my old house. My wife and I both literally cried on the way out . . . We’re excited to start a new outdoor world at our new house. Do you mow your own lawn and/or do your own gardening? I tried hiring outside lawn mowing companies, but usually, those relationships haven’t lasted. I’m not as crazy about my lawn care as some of my neighbors, but I like it to look nice. Do you have a green thumb? I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but a lot of people say that I do. What’s your secret? Miracle-Gro [a Scotts product], the right amount of water. It’s a Zen thing. If you like your flowers, they will like you. Louis Laderman Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel, United Industries Corp. The company’s Spectrum Brands unit makes insecticides, lawn and garden pesticides, and fertilizers. Its products include Hot Shot and Cutter. Legal chief Laderman oversees one attorney in the company’s St. Louis headquarters. Do you have a garden? Not really. Do you have any allergies? Yes. Mowed grass is what gets me more than anything. When I was a kid I cut grass, and I had horrible allergic reactions. In your family, who does most of the pruning and lawn maintenance? The nice people who mow my lawn also do my spring cleaning. I have some large oak trees, so there is always a lot to clean up around the yard. Do you have a green thumb? I’ve had two black thumbs for a long time, but I’ve learned a lot since working for this company. How did you obtain your current job? Through a networking process. I met the company’s and upper management. It seemed like a very good fit for both of us. Terry Hollister General Counsel and Secretary, MTD Products Inc. The 71-year-old Products makes outdoor power equipment under the Cub Cadet, White Outdoor, Yard-Man, and Yard Machines brands. Hollister is the company’s sole attorney. Do you mow your own lawn and/or do your own gardening? It’s a split task between my wife and me. I do the lawns, and she does the gardens and such. Do you have any allergies? Not that I’m aware of. Golf is one of my passions, so [a grass allergy] would be a big problem. What is the earliest acceptable time in the morning that people should mow their lawns? Assuming that they have neighbors near enough that it would matter, ten o’clock. Do you have a green thumb? When it comes to plants, flowers, and shrubs, I have a brown thumb. I am able to grow green grass with much assistance. Household plants shrivel when they see me.

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