LEX VINI

New York Issues Survey re Proposed “At Rest” Legislation

The New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) has asked state wholesalers to fill out a survey related to the potential impact of proposed “at rest” legislation. At rest legislation (New York Bill S3849-2013) would require any alcohol beverage delivered to a New York restaurant or retailer to go through a warehouse located within the state […]

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 […]

New York State Liquor Authority Approves Limited Availability Advisory

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the New York State Liquor Authority approved a revised Advisory (Advisory 2013-5) on the allocation of limited availability alcohol beverage products.  The final version of the advisory is available on the NYSLA website.As we mentioned in our earlier blog posts on the subject, the advisory provides details on how importers, […]

NYSLA Revises Proposed Advisory re "Limited Availability" Sales

Earlier this week the New York State Liquor Authority (“NYSLA”) revised it’s proposed advisory regarding wholesaler and importer’s ability to allocate “limited availability” alcohol beverage products.  We have created a redline highlighting the changes made to the earlier version of the advisory.On Wednesday, July 17, the NYSLA Board held a hearing to discuss the proposed […]

Southern Awarded Over $1.25 Million in Nevada Suit Against Small Competitors

Apparently, exclusivity in Nevada is serious business.  Certainly, as a jury there recently demonstrated, violating exclusivity is expensive. In 2002, Southern Wines & Spirits, the large Miami based distributor, sued Chateau Vegas and Transat Trade, both small distributors based in Orange County, California, for selling certain Bordeaux wines and French champagnes in Nevada.  Southern Wines […]

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 […]

New York SLA Proposed Advisory for “Limited Availability” Wines

New York distributors of highly sought after wines produced or imported in minimum quantities may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief.  The New York State Liquor Authority has issued a proposed advisory that, if approved, would let distributors favor their top accounts or prestigious retailers in their allocation of limited availability wine.  […]

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 […]

Can Expanding Your Wine Distribution Expose You to Lawsuits in Other States?

Attorneys, and particularly litigation attorneys such as me, get excited when the U.S. Supreme Court issues new “jurisdiction” proclamations.  The Court did just that in late-June, and the Court’s recent rulings have some impact on wineries. First, I will explain “jurisdiction” and outline prior law regarding jurisdiction.  Then, I will address the Supreme Court’s new […]