Corporate & Commercial

Let’s start with a matter of science and not the thoroughly drafted opinion denying the Atlas Brew Works challenge to the TTB’s refusal to approve COLAs during the government shutdown (link to our piece on why the case was important and why you should thank Atlas for bringing it). The opinion opens its ending paragraph with “[a]s the passage of time can skunk a beer, so too can it spoil a lawsuit.” Just to be clear – it is ultraviolet light that skunks a beer, not the passage of time. (Here’s a link to a Vinepair article for the
Question:        I own a policy of insurance on my life that I am selling to a third party at a profit.  What tax consequences and other concerns do I have? Answer:          Any gain from the sale of a life insurance policy you own will be subject to income tax.  Like the sale of most other assets, the difference between the amount realized or the amount you receive from the sale and your tax basis in the policy will be subject to tax.  Based on recent legislative changes, your tax basis in the policy will generally be the aggregate amount of…
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act is about to become the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act in Illinois as Senate Bill 2023 – passed by both the Illinois House and the Senate – heads to the Governor for signature. The changes to the medical cannabis act involve removing the sunset provision to make the act a permanent program and expanding the definition of “debilitating medical condition” to add: ulcerative colitis, autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease, and superior canal dehiscence syndrome. The…
When a franchisor learned that its franchisee was building a competing app and planning to launch a new business in direct competition with it, it sued, seeking an injunction to prevent the launch of the app and business during the litigation. The district court granted the injunction, and the appellate court affirmed in part, with regards to the injunction’s limits on competition. The appellate panel did, however, remand for the district court to consider imposing a higher security bond, given the sweeping nature of the terms of the injunction. Auto Driveway Franchise Systems, LLC is a franchisor for commercial vehicle…
Seven in ten Americans use social media, according to the Pew Research Center.  They connect with one another, access content, share information, and entertain themselves through social media.  When the Pew Research Center first surveyed the use of social media in 2005, only five percent of American adults used at least one form of social media.  By 2011, half of all American adults used social media.  Today, 72% of adult Americans interact with some form of social media. In other words, social media has gone mainstream.  It no longer involves a cutting-edge technology.  Thus, for good reason, employers have adapted…
Illinois’s Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act creates a special license for businesses and organizations looking to transport cannabis on behalf of a cannabis business establishment. Under Section 40-5 of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, transporting organizations are licensed by the Department of Agriculture.. Important dates for transporting organizations under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act: Licenses will issue no later than July 1, 2020 and the application for transporting organizations is to be made available January 7, 2020 with applications due March 15, 2020. The Application requires: A non-refundable fee of $5,000 (then another $10,000 if an…
Nick Sandmann achieved fame earlier this year when a short video clip of him standing face-to-face with a Native American by the name of Nathan Phillips went viral back in January. Sandmann, who is wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in the video clip, was chastised on social media as a racist who had taunted a Native American. After the video went viral, several news organizations reported on the incident, including the Washington Post, NBC, and CNN. Sandmann sued all of them for allegedly defaming him by misrepresenting his actions and failing to report the full story. Shortly after…
Mark Sorini over at the excellent alcohol policy and legal blog Alcohol Law Advisor (if you’re not following it, you should) has great coverage and prescient insight regarding how the Tennessee Retailers case has provided a roadmap for challenges to state alcohol statutes and regulations.  The 8th Circuit’s recent decision in Alexis Bailly Vineyard v. Harrington aptly bolsters this prediction by summarizing the Tennessee Retailers as it applies the farm wineries’ challenge to a statutory requirement that farm winery licensees produce wine with a majority of ingredients grown or produced in Minnesota – arguing that the requirement for in-state ingredients…
You might not realize it’s happening, and you definitely might not realize you have the right to object. But when you enter an airport in 2019, it’s possible that your airline—or the federal government—are scanning images of your face for their security-related purposes. Say No to Airport Facial Recognition This facial-recognition technology can be used during check-in, baggage drop, security and boarding. For the most part so far, it’s mostly only been deployed for international flights, to confirm passenger identity at the behest of Customs and Border Protection. But airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are considering doing so for…
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court just upheld the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s fine and suspension of two Total Wine stores after a trial court found against those fines and ruled in favor of Total Wine. The facts from the opinion (linked below) state that the MA ABCC fined two Total Wine stores finding they were selling alcoholic beverages in violation of an MA ABCC regulation that prohibits retailers from selling below the cost listed on the invoices for the purchase of the discounted bottles. Multiple cumulative quantity discounts offered to Total Wine over several purchases and invoices reduced the…
(July 28, Chicago) – Lubin Austermuehle PC announced it has joined Nextlaw Referral Network, enabling it to connect its clients to high-quality lawyers around the world. Nextlaw Referral Network is the largest legal referral network in the world, with more than 650 member firms, 30,000 lawyers covering 200+ countries. Peter Lubin of Lubin Austermuehle said, “By joining Nextlaw Referral Network, we can now provide our clients with the best of all worlds by continuing to serve them where we currently have offices, while also being able to direct them to top tier lawyers in other jurisdictions where they need legal…
New England employers have seen a restricting on their ability to use non-compete agreements in recent weeks with the passage of new laws in Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. In a previous post, we profiled the non-compete legislation passed in Massachusetts. The bills in Maine and New Hampshire are set to be enacted later this year, while the bill in Rhode Island has passed the legislature and awaits signature by the governor. Maine The newly passed Act To Promote Keeping Workers in Maine is set to take effect on September 18, 2019. The new law will dramatically affect employers…
A student loan debtor sued her loan servicer, arguing that the servicer had violated Illinois consumer fraud law by asserting that its customer representatives were experts in repayment options and acted in a borrower’s best interest when they were in fact instructed to steer borrowers into payment options that benefited the servicer more than the borrower. The district court dismissed the suit, finding that federal disclosure law preempted the suit, but the appellate court reversed, holding that penalizing loan servicers for making affirmative misrepresentations did not impose additional disclosure requirements on servicers, and thus was not preempted. Nicole Nelson financed…
By Alec Schulmanalec@jayaramlaw.com Introduction It is clear that our world has become dominated by the entertainment and sports markets.[1] As these markets have grown, so has the notoriety of individuals affiliated with them. Athletes, actors, models, and musicians who wish to commercialize their “personas” often choose to partner with corporate entities looking to create mutually beneficial relationships.[2] However, due to the non-uniformity of laws between governments, these individuals often find themselves navigating complex legal doctrines, requiring skilled attorneys to walk them through the commercialization process and take action against unauthorized parties seeking to profit off of their…
A current medical dispensary licensee has brought suit against a national cannabis company to terminate what their agreement purports is a $14,000,000.00 deal (ostensibly taken as a mix of cash ($3.5MM), stock ($1.5MM) and debt ($9MM)) the parties inked in March of 2019 because Illinois’s restrictions on the number of licenses a party can hold are presently keeping the deal from closing in the timeframe the seller asserts was the agreed window under the agreement for the sale of the equity interests of the medical dispensary licensee. You can read the complaint with its exhibits here.  The lawsuit seeks…
If you’re not following the excellent coverage of alcohol related issues over at Alcohol Law Review, you’re missing out. That wonderful blog recently brought attention to this state preemption case from Michigan where a group comprised of winery and cider makers are challenging a restriction on their in bond transfer of alcohol – authorized by federal law but arguably prohibited by Michigan law – as well as actions taken by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission in apparently prohibiting transfers or seizing product. You can read the full complaint with exhibits here. The important count – count I –…