Articles by: John Trinidad

CA ABC Issues Warning About Potential Scam

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued a warning that licensees are being targeted by a possible scam.  Apparently, licensees have been receiving calls from someone claiming that, as a result of an ABC violation, the licensee must pay a fine.  In short, the ABC does not operate in this manner, and if […]

TTB Proposes to Shut Down COLA Exemption Appellation Labeling Loophole

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has proposed amendments to federal wine labeling laws that protect the integrity of the appellation of origin labeling system in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking No. 160 (NPRM 160).  If adopted, the proposed amendments would close off a loophole that allows certain […]

TTB Provides Guidance on Category Management Practices

On February 11th, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) issued a new ruling regarding the extent to which “category management” practices are permissible under federal tied-house laws. The “tied-house” laws promulgated under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (the “FAA Act”) generally prohibit industry members from giving “things of value” such as supplies, […]

COLA’s Provide Scant Protection from Class Action Lawsuits

ShipCompliant recently published a guest blog post by DP&F Wine Law attorney John Trinidad on the class action lawsuits claiming that the use of the term “handmade” on vodka bottles constituted false or misleading information under state consumer protection laws.   Over the past year, a slew of class action lawsuits have been filed claiming that […]

New York Aims to Modernize State Alcohol Beverage Laws

New York alcohol beverage producers, wholesalers and retailers take note:  there may be some changes coming your way.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of an industry working group to recommend revisions to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws.  The group, to be headed up by NY State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley, is […]

CEB Wine Law Forum (Nov. 5-6 in Paso Robles)

Thursday and Friday, November 5th & 6th Paso Robles, California Three DP&F attorneys will be speaking at the annual CEB Wine Law Forum,™  taking place on November 5th and 6th in Paso Robles, California.  The Forum, sponsored by the International Wine Law Association and moderated by DPF’s Richard Mendelson,  will address Water Regulation, the AVA System, and Employment Law.  Mr. […]

11.05.2015 CEB Wine Law Forum

Thursday and Friday, November 5th & 6th Paso Robles, California Three DP&F attorneys will be speaking at the annual CEB Wine Law Forum,™  taking place on November 5th and 6th in Paso Robles, California.  The Forum, sponsored by the International Wine Law Association and moderated by DPF’s Richard Mendelson,  will address Water Regulation, the AVA System, and Employment Law.  Mr. […]

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New Law Amends California Tied-House Law

Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 780, a law which helps clarify the rules that permit an alcohol beverage producer, importer, or wholesaler (collectively, a “supplier”) to list or mention on- and off- premise retailers in supplier-sponsored advertising, including supplier websites and social media channels.  As described in more detail below, the new law is fairly […]

NYSLA Proposes Advisory for Trademark Licensing Agreements

The New York State Liquor Authority is considering adopting an advisory regarding trademark licensing agreements between retailers and alcohol beverage producers.  If adopted, the advisory would prohibit certain trademark licensing agreements between retailers and suppliers (i.e., producers and wholesaler) that involve a licensing fee based upon a percentage of sales or that otherwise “correlate[s] with sales.”  According […]

Proposed Expansion of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA

Willamette Valley, one of the most well regarded American Viticultural Areas, may be getting a wee bit bigger. Last week, the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a notice of proposed rulemaking detailing the proposed addition of approximately 29 square miles (which constitutes less than 1% of the existing […]

Small Producer Tax Credit Pitfalls: The K Vintners Case

When is a small producer not a small producer?  That was the question answered by a federal district court in a case that centered on a winery’s ability to claim a small producer tax credit for wine produced at another winery (K Vintners v. U.S., Case No. 12-cv-05128-TOR (E.D. Wa. Jan 21, 2015)). Background on the Small Producer Tax Credit. […]

New Bill to Aid Private Equity Firms Applying for ABC License

The California Senate Committee on Governmental Organization is considering a bill to streamline the process for qualification of private equity firms seeking to hold an interest in a state alcohol beverage license.  SB 796 would add Section 23405.4 to the California Business and Professions Code, which would allow a private equity fund to hold a license and […]

Best Practices in Winery Operations Conference (Napa, 3/19 – 3/20)

  James W. Terry Director at Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty and chair of the firm’s business practice group, will serve as as program co-chair at the annual “Best Practices in Winery Operations” conference hosted by The Seminar Group, to be held on March 19 and 20, 2015 at The River Terrace Inn in Napa, California.  The conference touches on many […]

Regulatory Hurdles for DTC, Social Media, and Third Party Sales Channels

During last week’s Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, DP&F attorney John Trinidad moderated a panel discussion titled, “Regulatory Hurdles for DTC, Social Media, and Third Party Sales Channels.” Trinidad led off the session with a presentation describing how the Internet has “disrupted” the wine industry’s traditional sales and marketing models.  You can access Trinidad’s PowerPoint presentation by clicking on […]

03.19.2015 Best Practices in Winery Operations

Thursday-Friday, March 19-20, 2015 9:00am -5:00pm The River Terrace Inn Napa, CA James W. Terry Director at Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty and chair of the business practice group, will serve as as program co-chair at the annual “Best Practices in Winery Operations” conference hosted by The Seminar Group, to be held on March 19 and 20, 2015 at The River […]

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NYSLA, Empire Wine and Due Process

On January 23, the New York State Liquor Authority is scheduled to hold a hearing to determine if retailer Empire Wine & Spirits (“Empire”) engaged in “improper conduct” that warrants the suspension, cancellation or revocation of the retailer’s New York liquor license.  According to the SLA’s Notice of Pleading, Empire allegedly shipped wine to consumers […]

01.28.2015 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

DP&F Attorneys will be attending the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (“UWGS”) on January 28 and 29, 2014 in Sacramento, CA. UWGS is the industry’s largest trade show in North America. Please stop by and visit us in Booth 939 and join us for our annual reception on Wednesday, January 28, 2014 from 6-9pm at the […]

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States Claim Colorado Marijuana Laws are Unconstitutional

Earlier this week, Oklahoma and Nebraska filed a motion and complaint with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Colorado’’s implementation of Amendment 64, the state constitutional amendment legalizing the cultivation and sale of marijuana. According to the brief, both Oklahoma and Nebraska have suffered damages as a result of Colorado’’s legalization of marijuana in the form […]

Launching New Wine Brand Without a Winery

Beverage Trade Network recently published an article “Launching New Wine Brand Without a Winery” by DP&F attorneys John Trinidad and Katja Loeffelholz on insights on how to navigate legal hurdles when entering the wine industry. The article explores some of the key legal and regulatory issues facing “virtual wineries,” including securing the right licenses and […]

California Tied House Laws and Social Media

According to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) recently accused a California winery of violating tied house laws by sending the following tweet:  “Two days till @SaveMart Grape Escape in Downtown #Sacramento!” SaveMart Supermarkets holds a California alcohol beverage retailer license, and the ABC considered the […]

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