Group Attorneys

Harlan T. Greenman-Partner
Jared I. Gans-Associate
Andrew W. Moses-Associate

The Alcohol Beverage Control Practice Group represents alcohol beverage manufacturers, rectifiers, bottlers, importers and wholesale distributors in the areas of licensing, labeling, advertising, product distribution and trade practices.

The Group represents retail venues, such as hotels, restaurants, sports and recreation venues, and private investment funds which invest in such assets. Our representation of such clients involves license eligibility issues (i.e., “tied-house” issues involving prohibited cross-ownership of manufacturing or distribution businesses and retail interests) as well as assisting the client in obtaining state and/or local alcohol beverage licenses in the states in which the client intends to operate.

We regularly appear before the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury (“TTB”) and the various state alcohol beverage authorities in connection with all aspects of our clients’ business.

Licensing

We advise clients as to the appropriate alcohol beverage federal and state licenses and permits necessary to conduct business and assist them in the preparation and filing of the appropriate application and supporting forms with TTB and state alcohol beverage authorities.

We advise clients with respect to the consequences to their licenses and permits resulting from internal restructuring of the client and of ownership changes resulting from mergers and acquisitions.

More recently, we have been engaged to advise clients with respect to the state laws applicable to conducting internet sales, including state licensing requirements.

Labeling and Product Formulation

The Group reviews clients’ labels to ensure their compliance with federal and state requirements and assists our clients in registering labels with TTB and state alcohol beverage authorities where required, and assists in the preparation and submission to TTB of formula applications, statements of process and pre-import analysis requests.

Where ownership of a brand is transferred, we assist by obtaining permission from TTB to “use up” existing approved labels and obtaining permission of state regulatory authorities, where required, for the new brand owner to adopt the price schedules filed by the prior brand owner.

Advertising and Marketing Promotions

The Group regularly counsels clients as to the federal and individual state requirements applicable to their proposed advertisements in order that the clients may create and disseminate uniform advertising materials throughout the United States.

We review client marketing promotions, such as sweepstakes, coupons, brand websites and brand event sponsorships, to insure their compliance with federal and individual state laws and regulations.

Where necessary, we represent the client before TTB and state alcohol beverage authorities that may challenge the propriety of the client’s advertising and promotional copy and/or pictorial representations.

Distribution

We counsel our clients with respect to the creation and maintenance of wholesaler distribution networks under state distributor relationship/termination laws. Applying our familiarity with the judicial decisions involving a state’s distribution relationship/ termination law, we advise our client as to the appropriate language to include in their distribution and brokerage agreements.

We advise our client as to the consequences of a merger or acquisition on the continued validity of existing distribution agreements of the merged or acquired entity. If a dispute arises involving our client’s distribution relationship, we represent our client before the relevant state alcohol beverage authority or before a Court.

Trade Practices

We advise clients as to how best to meet their marketing and sales promotional goals within the requirements of federal and state trade practice laws, regulations and procedures. We review our client’s marketing and sales promotional literature and programs to ensure that none violate the tied house, commercial bribery, exclusive outlet and slotting fee prohibitions contained in federal and individual state laws and regulations.

We represent clients before TTB and individual state alcohol beverage authorities who are investigated for possible violation of, or are charged with, violating trade practice laws and regulations. We either negotiate an offer-in-compromise where that is the preferred resolution or we litigate the case on behalf of the client.

We have prepared compliance manuals to assist our clients’ employees in conducting their sales and marketing promotional programs in compliance with federal and state laws.