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Michael J. O'Flaherty

Phone: (202) 789-1212
Fax: (202) 789-1212

Michael O'Flaherty is a principal at OFW Law. He concentrates his practice, and for over twenty-five years has counseled clients extensively, in food and dietary supplement regulatory matters, especially labeling and advertising, formulation, compliance and enforcement risk, and administrative procedures. He has spoken to audiences and authored numerous articles about his areas of expertise. His practice also includes trademark and customs matters.

Michael joined OFW Law in 1987 after clerking for two years in The Quaker Oats Company's Law Department.

Michael was born in Chicago, Illinois, and received his B.S. in 1978 from Northwestern University and his J.D. in 1987 from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1987, to the District of Columbia Bar in 1988, and to the Supreme Court of the United States of America in 2007. He is currently a member of the District of Columbia Bar and Illinois Bar Associations.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Illinois, 1987
  • District of Columbia, 1988
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2007


  • Northwestern University, B.S., 1978
  • Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1987

Special Agencies

  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Professional Associations

  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association


  • A Primer about the Ongoing Epidemic of Class Action Lawsuits Challenging Food Claims, The Food Institute Press, April 2015.
  • Is National Marketing of Marijuana Edibles Legally Attainable?, Update magazine (a publication of the Food and Drug Law Institute), Jan/Feb 2015.
  • "Are You Ready for FDA's Mandatory Reportable Food Registry (Once the Agency is)?" Association of Food Industries Annual Journal, 2009.
  • "FDA Conditional Release Period and CBP Bond and Redelivery Obligations for Imported Food Specified", Association of Food Industries Annual Journal, 2007.
  • Importing Food into the United States: A Regulatory Guide, The Food Institute Press, 2007
  • U.S. Food Labeling Guide III, The Food Institute Press, 2006.
  • "Beware: Warning Labels on Soft Drinks." Washington Legal Foundation Legal Backgrounder, Vol. 20, No. 52, Nov., 2005.
  • "Pearson v. Shalala: The FDA, Free Speech, and the Future Regulation of Product Claims", CRC Press LLC, 2001.
  • "Food or Supplement? — Choosing the Appropriate Regulatory Path " Food Technology, Vol.52, No.12, Dec., 1998.
  • "Customs Rule on Country of Origin Marks on Front Panels of Frozen Produce Packages Lacks Legal Basis" Washington Legal Foundation Legal Backgrounder, Vol. 9, No. 20, June, 1994.
  • "Complying with New Wax and Resin Coating Regulations: UFFVA's Quick Guide for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industry" United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, 1993.
  • "The Battle Gets Curiouser and Curiouser: As the FDA Considers Regulations that Will Circumscribe the Health Claims Made for Dietary Supplements, Congress Is Being Asked to Intervene," (The New Jersey Law Journal Health Care Supplement, Nov. 1993), Legal Times of Washington, Sept., 1993.
  • "Food Labeling Reforms", The Food Institute Press, Jan., 1993.
  • "Final Round of the Fight Over Food Labels", The Food Institute Press, Jan., 1993.
  • "Regulators Dish It Out on Food Labeling", Legal Times of Washington, Jan., 1992.
  • "History of Health Claims Regulation", 45 Food Drug Comm., L.J. 655, Nov., 1990.

Browse Michael O'Flaherty's posts on the Ag/FDA Blog