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Timothy Scott knows a thing or two about the sunbathing habits of chickens. He’s got the skinny on cows, too. A barnyard education was just the sort of variety Scott was looking for when he ended a 16-year tenure at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to join Sidley Austin Brown & Wood in San Francisco. A seasoned technology company litigator, Scott was convinced there had to be a bigger world beyond Silicon Valley. He was right. There’s also the Central Valley. Scott is working on a case for Tyson Foods Inc., a longtime client of Sidley. A research organization sued Tyson over its advertising in Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine v. Tyson Foods Inc., 02-415864. The case is in San Francisco Superior Court, but it has all the trappings of a dispute in farm country. The organization had alleged that Tyson advertisements referring to its chicken as “all natural” and “naturally wholesome” are misleading because, it claims, the life of a commercially farmed chicken is not natural. Documents the Physicians Committee filed in the case attempted to shed some light on commercial chicken farming methods and the contrast with the life of a chicken raised in a sheltered environment. Outside of a commercial farm, according to one document, chickens sunbathe, groom and care for their young and perch in low branches. Many of the group’s claims in the suit were tossed out. Still pending is a dispute over a Tyson claim about the healthy qualities of chicken. Since making the jump to Sidley in February 2002, Scott has been pitching in with longtime Sidley clients like Del Monte Foods Co. and Tyson Foods Inc. It’s just the kind of variety he was looking for when he made the move from Wilson Sonsini to Sidley. “It’s not that I don’t like technology companies,” Scott said. “I just wanted to have a more diverse practice and a more diverse client base.” Scott’s current cases aren’t his first brush with livestock. He got a job as a ranch hand one summer during his undergraduate English studies at Stanford University. For $600 a month plus room and board, Scott mended fences, baled hay and chased bulls at a ranch along the Powder River in Montana. Scott had grown up in the Bay Area and just wanted some adventure. “You grow up in the Silicon Valley and you begin to think the only businesses that are relevant are telecommunications and computers,” Scott said. “Then you realize there are enormous economies that are more important than technology, and one of them is food.” Senior Writer Renee Deger’s e-mail address is [email protected].

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