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Moral Lessons From
The Nolan/Ocean Spray Trial

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, June 23, 2009

Our coverage of the Ocean Spray vs. Jim and Theresa Nolan and The Nolan Network matter has been extensive. and doubtless will continue through post-trial motions and appeals. Since the verdict, we have written four pieces:

SPECIAL ALERT: Nolans Victorious In Lawsuit vs. Ocean Spray: This One’s For You, Jim

Nolan Triumph Example Of ‘Standing Up For What’s Right In Face Of Overwhelming Might’

Sharing The Joy Of The Nolan Victory… Plus A Note From One Of The Jurors!

Another Juror Weighs In On Nolan Victory Over Ocean Spray

For the moment, we thought the following letter, from an industry member held in high regard, would be a fitting way to tie together our coverage at this point:

The entire Nolan/Ocean Spray affair points strongly to the erosion of the ethics of good business. Right always wins out. Justice moves slowly but honestly and with deliberate steps.

Ocean Spray will reevaluate how they do their business in the future.

A cute side story:

For many, many years, thirty or so, our Ball Brokerage Company represented Ocean Spray in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. It was announced to us that they were turning the entire deal over to CH Robinson in the late 1980’s.

We were saddened, but we have watched them change the way they do business since in so many different ways.

Good ethics make good business.

We are certain that the miniscule cost to Ocean Spray and the humungous embarrassment will put them on the road to better business.

Let us all constantly see these things as a reminder to focus on everyone’s core mission.

Honor, integrity, and never, never forgetting where you came from and who helped along the way are the cornerstones to all successful business.

Kudos to you dear Pundit, for continuing in your awesome, ever-expanding search for the true story in every part of our magnificent industry.

Best wishes to Mrs. Nolan as she and her family begin the healing process. Kudos to the jury for doing the right thing. Best wishes to Ocean Spray to clean up this mess in a proper fashion and move forward.

We all have our eyes in the front of our heads to know that what happened yesterday is behind us. Let’s start smart and all continue our quest to move ahead and give our industry our greatest performance, each and every day.

— Harris Cutler
President
Race-West Company
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

We grew up in a neighborhood where the parents of many of the children were professionals: doctors, dentists and attorneys, etc. We are now old enough to realize that the fact that the Pundit Poppa went to work every day on the Hunts Point Market and that we had the connection with the market and the people who worked there loading trucks and delivering produce was really an invaluable gift. We actually worry a lot about how to keep a connection with reality and the real-world struggles that people endure, present and alive for the Jr. Pundits.

Many thanks to Harris-Cutler and Race-West Company for reminding us all that capitalism and its public acceptance depends crucially on codes of behavior with deep cultural roots. When capitalism becomes license to do as one chooses without moral consideration, it loses what the Chinese would call “the mandate of heaven.”

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