LEX VINI

Diageo and Major Brands Settle Franchise Law Dispute

This is the way most franchise law litigation ends:  not with a bang, but with a whimper.  After over a year of legal jostling, Diageo and Major Brands have apparently reached settlement, according to Missouri news outlets. Suppliers trying to terminate their relationship with a Missouri distributor should closely review a state court opinion issued in the same […]

Federal Court Dismisses Diageo’s Complaint in Franchise Law Case

Earlier this week, Missouri distributor Major Brands, Inc. won the most recent round in its year-long franchise law litigation with Diageo Americas, Inc. The federal district court in Connecticut has dismissed Diageo’s complaint, and the parties dispute appears to be gearing up for a trial in Missouri state court this summer. Last March, Diageo brought […]

Eighth Circuit Rejects Southern Wine and Spirits Appeal, Says States May Discriminate Against Out of State Wholesalers.

Despite being the 32nd largest private company in the U.S. according to Forbes Magazine and operating in almost a dozen states, Southern Wine and Spirits of America continues to have trouble entering the Missouri market.  Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit denied Southern’s appeal challenging the constitutionality of Missouri’s alcohol […]

Update on The Battle of Missouri and Franchise Distribution Law

On June 20, a Missouri Circuit Court judge issued one of the first judicial rulings in a battle that could dramatically affect the relationship between producers and distributors of alcohol. In Missouri, Diageo PLC, Bacardi Ltd., and Pernod Ricard SA are all lobbying to end the state’s franchise laws.  These laws, which ten other states […]

Diageo Americas v. Major Brands: Franchise Law Litigation and Forum Selection

Wineries big and small face difficulties in trying to terminate distribution ageements in franchise law states.  We posted an article a few weeks ago about a lawsuit filed by Diageo Americas, Inc. against its Missouri distributor, Major Brands, Inc.  Diageo has asked the federal district court in Connecticut to issue a declaratory judgment allowing the company […]

Franchise Laws and Diageo’s Recent Distributor Termination Action in Missouri

Ohio,New Jersey,North Carolina,Virginia, and a number of other states restrict a winery’s ability to terminate distributors in that state through “franchise laws.” The Virginia Wine Franchise Act, for example, prevents a winery from unilaterally amending, cancelling, terminating or refusing to renew anyVirginia distribution agreement absent good cause, and good cause is very narrowly defined.  A […]