Ashley Brandt

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Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries.

Latest Articles

The good people over at the Illinois Liquor Control Commission – the entity responsible for Illinois’s liquor law enforcement and regulation – have done bars from Chicago to Effingham a favor by publishing a frequently asked questions flyer regarding Illinois’s new growler & crowler law. Illinois bars and restaurants and even Illinois liquor attorneys can rest easy with the knowledge that these are published interpretations of the new law. Lots of good stuff here, from pre-filling growlers and crowlers in Illinois to the labeling requirements. You can read more about Illinois’s new growler and crowler law here. Here’s the…
The case, Stardom Brands LLC v. SKI Wholesale Beer Corp. (link to opinion) revolved around a dispute over the purchase of pallets of beer. The Plaintiff is an importer of Slavutich beer. The defendants are wholesalers. The plaintiff beer importer asserted that the defendant beer wholesaler orally agreed to purchase two shipping containers of Slavutich beer each holding 1,500 cases of beer. The plaintiff beer importer claimed that it imported the beer but the beer wholesaler only paid for one half of one shipment. After the beer importer sued to get paid on the other ¾ of the price…
Admit it, you’ve purchased ingredients you found out later were defective, or spoiled. Well, buyers like Illinois wineries, Illinois dispensaries, Illinois craft brewers, and Illinois craft distillers have a new weapon in revoking acceptance of goods such as grapes, fruit, cannabis, distilling or brewing ingredients that turn out to be spoiled or damaged or defective in some way that decreases the value of the purchased commodity and which was unknown at the time of acceptance. And Illinois liquor lawyers have a new argument in asserting that revocation of the  acceptance doesn’t require offering the seller a chance to cure the…
The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board and the USPTO don’t work in a vacuum and this recent opinion over a company’s attempt to register BIG SIX for wine shows just how well they’re doing in researching and protecting common vernacular so alcohol manufacturers can continue to utilize common terms.  In this case, the applicant, Plata Wine Partners, LLC, sought to register BIG SIX for “wine” (Class 33). The examining attorney refused registration on the grounds that BIG SIX “is a term of art in the wine industry” so it was merely descriptive of the applicant’s goods. The examining attorney…
You probably know it’s headed downhill as a party in a lawsuit when the court is comparing your arguments to Al Capone’s. That’s what happened in this recent FLSA case out of the 10th Circuit – Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc., 18-1105 (10th Circ.). As outlined below, however, case law is clear that employers are not excused from complying with federal laws because of their other federal violations. … The employers’ argument to the contrary rests on a legal theory as flawed today as it was in 1931 when jurors convicted Al Capone of failing to pay taxes on…
You’ll recall this is the second appeal in this matter where a group of broadcasters, along with a bar, and a grape farmer brought a First Amendment challenge to Missouri’s prohibitions on truthful alcohol advertising.They argued that Missouri’s laws and regs restrict the manner and methods and truthful content of their alcohol advertising. They won in the district court and the state appealed arguing all along that tied-house restrictions trumped the First Amendment and mandated restrictions on alcohol advertising – apparently forgetting or ignoring cases like Reuben and 44 Liquormart. This is another of those cases showing how states…
You can read and download the full complaint here. In case you were wondering whether Three Floyds claims trademark dilution – yes, in a big way – citing to the poor Untappd reviews of Floyd’s claiming it would be bad for Three Floyds if people associated the two. Here’s what they selected: The post Here’s the full complaint Three Floyds Brewing filed against Floyd’s Spiked Beverages. Bonus – Untappd shaming appeared first on Libation Law Blog.…
We wrote about the importance of the The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 yesterday. You can read that entry here.  The importance of the SAFE Banking Act to paving the way for providing comfort to financial institutions in turn assuring they will provide services to the cannabis industry as well as giving other third parties safe harbor for the proceeds from transactions with cannabis-related businesses. After yesterday’s vote, Representative Perlmutter – the chief sponsor, had this to say about the engines of progress:  “If someone wants to oppose the legalization of marijuana, that’s their prerogative, but…
The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 is the House Bill cannabis advocates and banking institutions too nervous about cannabis’s status as a Schedule 1 drug have been waiting for. And it is more than just a banking bill, the SAFE Banking Act as its deemed has several provisions relevant to the cannabis industry and related industries providing it services that would provide exemption and safety for related transactions for all service providers, not just banks. Importantly the SAFE Banking Act gives safe harbor to financial institutions potentially removing many barriers that traditional lenders and depository institutions may…
In Polk, the plaintiff sued the defendants to obtain his ownership and profits from a cannabis growing business they had allegedly started together. When they started the business under Washington state’s newly enacted recreational marijuana laws back in 2013, the plaintiff could not disclose his ownership in the business given his criminal history and restrictions on obtaining a license with such a history. Plaintiff alleges the parties initially agreed to a 30/30% split between plaintiff and defendant founder and that the remaining 40 percent of the cannabis cultivation business would go to investors. Until 2015, plaintiff worked in the business,…
It’s rare to see textbook examples of the application of legal principles, even less common for Illinois liquor lawyers must be the application to a scenario that could impact a bar, brewpub, taproom, tasting room, or restaurant. The issue in Witcher v. 1104 Madison St. Restaurant d/b/a Plush Chicago involved a Chicago restaurant/lounge’s duty in tort law to protect its patrons from criminal acts committed by third parties (note: this is not about dram shop liability). That duty to patrons hasn’t changed since you learned it in law school: As a general rule, there isn’t a duty imposed on landowners…
A three judge panel of the 5th Circuit ended Walmart’s recent Commerce Clause triumph. Overturning and remanding for further fact-finding, the district court’s finding that a Texas ban on public companies owning liquor stores was enacted with a discriminatory intent meant to keep out-of-state interests from holding in-state liquor licenses. You can read the full opinion here.  Walmart has requested a rehearing en banc and the Texas Liquor Store lobbying group looking to protect its hold on in-state monopolized licenses has filed a request for the same three judge panel to re-hear the case and find in its favor…
A mischaracterization of what a Michigan statute regulates and what rights of a winery/cidery it impacts created a disappointing result for Michigan winery/cidery arguing that federal law allowing for bonded transfer of wine and cider preempted the state’s restrictions on the winery/cidery’s acceptance of wine and cider in bond for eventual sale to consumers. We initially covered this case when it was filed back in July. You can read that entry here for the background and arguments asserted in the complaint and the winery/cidery’s requests for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. The winery/cidery wanted to accept the bonded…
In a blow against some restrictive trade practice regulations Washington’s Court of Appeals recently struck several rules of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board as overly broad and unsupported by the state’s liquor statute. The background for the challenge was the 2012 amendment to Washington’s liquor laws which ended the state’s monopoly on the sale of liquor. The enacting legislation started with the following noble intent statement: The people of the state of Washington, in enacting this initiative measure, find that the state government monopoly on liquor distribution and liquor stores in Washington and the state government regulations that…
Patagonia’s (the clothing maker) lawsuit against Anheuser Busch will proceed following a finding that Patagonia may (just may…) be able to support those claims that its brand is one of the most recognized and famous in the world. By way of background – Anheuser-Busch recently launched a “Patagonia” beer at ski resorts in Colorado under the name “Patagonia Brewing Company” and went on to register a trademark for “Patagonia” in beer. Here’s what that looked like: Picture from Lawsuit by Patagonia over Anheuser-Busch Patagonia Beer. Ski Resort Sales Pop-up. Guess what the sales staff wore? Picture from Lawsuit by Patagonia…