The Firm represents clients in all areas of alcoholic beverage licensing, including representation before the Food and Drug Administration, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and the municipal boards of towns and cities located across Massachusetts. The Firm devotes a significant amount of time to the representation of clients in their reporting requirements and other compliance related matters. The Firm also works closely with trademark counsel in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and, when necessary, in litigation before the Federal District Courts in applying for and protecting valuable brand names of wine being distributed in the United States.
The laws of the United States, Massachusetts and other states are strenuous and very particular with respect to the regulation of the alcoholic beverages industry, and staying in compliance with the ever-evolving patchwork of compliance regulations and statutes requires a keen understanding of how local, state and federal laws work together and across different jurisdictions. Alcoholic beverage suppliers, wholesalers, importers, brokers and retailers all have significant reporting requirements that require the filing of annual renewals; price lists; affirmations and calculations of prices; vehicle registration; ownership composition; and the reporting of sales made and labels used. All these compliance requirements require strict vigilance on behalf of industry participants, which the Firm undertakes on behalf of its clients.
Staying in compliance with these regulations and avoiding the plethora of prohibited business practices established by these same regulations is the most cost effective way to prevent an interruption to business and the imposition of sanctions, such as suspensions and fines. Significant time therefore is spent, and should be spent, by members of the alcoholic beverages industry to understanding and complying with these regulations. The Firm represents clients in their navigation through the thicket of these regulations.
Clients of the Firm include foreign wineries located in Europe and South America as well as out-of-state suppliers, Massachusetts’ wholesalers and retailers such as restaurants, clubs and package stores. The Firm represents these clients not only the in compliance aspect of their businesses, but also in the litigation that often arises with local and state regulatory bodies over claimed non-compliance with these statutes and regulations. Representation on claimed violation of regulatory requirements or prohibited business practices are often resolved at the state or local administrative level but when they are not, the Firm represents aggrieved clients in the Courts for judicial review of those decisions and/or for injunctive relief against such adverse findings.
The Firm stands ready to assist Clients with the mere filing of required forms and the observance of reporting requirements all the way through representation in the Courts for alleged violations of these laws.
© 2012 Law Offices of John P. Connell, P.C., 112 Water St., Suite 201, Boston, MA 02109