Food, Wine & Spirits Law Services
Services that the KC Branch Firm provides for the Industry:
Negotiation of contracts with suppliers, vendors, alternating proprietors, distributors, customers, licensees, winemakers, landowners, tenants, custom crush clients, grape buyers, growers, consultants, auction houses, as well as in the merger / acquisition context.
- Permits / Licenses: streamline the process & reduce the obstacles associated with permits & licenses issued by the federal, state & local governments, including the Trade & Tobacco Bureau (TTB) & the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) and other states’ liquor authorities, especially where the business plan of the potential licensee creates anomalies.
- Licensee Accusations
Attack the government & protect the licensee when governmental authorities audit or make accusations against licensees including threatening license suspension or revocation for failing to pay excise taxes, failing to get COLA approval, selling to minors, selling to inebriated customers & providing free goods to customers.
- Intellectual Property
Registration, protection & attack through the US Patent & Trademark Office as well as through Federal Court & litigation through the US Patent & Trademark Office for infringement of names, brand & trade dress by competitors & counterfeiters. We draft license agreements to allow third parties to use marks belonging to trademark owners, such as producers, hotels, restaurants and off-premise retailers.
- Risk Management
Advise clients on the applicability of the multitude of insurance coverage packages to their unique business practices as well as the use of legal and financial processes to protect its clients. In the wine industry, methodologies for avoiding risk, both catastrophic & nominal, must be constantly utilized because of the dynamic nature of the industry.
- Events & Auctions
Preparation of policies & procedures for event & auction management. Through our event contracts (such as winery wedding contracts, winemaker dinner contracts & non-profit events, non-profit alcohol tastings / sales), we emphasize the obligations to protect sensitive agricultural areas & that all parties involved comply with the applicable regulations. In our auction contracts, we work closely with our clients to avoid counterfeit wine sales & describe in the auction catalog the risks of buyer, seller & auction houses. For our collectors, we opine on the seller's & auction house's potential liablity for counterfeit wine & lack of title.
- Merger / Acquisitions
Represent clients on financial and operational aspects in conjunction with accountants, bankers & business brokers. We also provide due diligence services both for potential as well as pending deals.
- Litigation / Collection : prosecutes, defends & advises attorneys and other professionals (as an expert witness or consultant) on civil & criminal lawsuits involving alcoholic products, including counterfeit / tainted products, alleged crimes by industry members such as DUI & spousal abuse, personal injury, disorderly houses, wrongful death as well as litigates business issues involving contracts, collection, trademarks, employment, three tier distribution.
Educate suppliers, distributors, retailers (including bars, restaurants & hotels), trade groups, students & lawyers on their risks & responsibilities in beverage service, in trade practices (sales procedures / contests / sponsorships / donations) & in interstate / international shipping & distribution.