Corporate & Commercial

A purchaser of a classic 1973 Ford Bronco sued the car’s auctioneer in Illinois court. The purchaser alleged that the vendor committed fraud by misrepresenting the condition of the vehicle in its advertisements and during the auction. The circuit court dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Illinois Appellate Court reversed, finding that the vendor had sufficient contacts with Illinois when it solicited the business of the purchaser via advertisements, its website, and its communications over email and the phone. In January 2018, John Dixon saw an advertisement posted by GAA Classic Cars, LLC on a car-related website.…
As the call for political activism has grown louder and wider in the past few years, most of us have seen or heard people urging us to call our political representatives to let them know how we feel about certain issues. But what if doing so could land you in court for defamation? That’s what happened to Maggy Hurchalla, a long-time environmental activist who served as Martin County’s first female commissioner from 1974 to 1994 when she lost to a candidate who was heavily backed by developers. Hurchalla has spent most of her life fighting to protect the Florida environment…
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…
Question: I am a salaried employee and I also receive self-employment income from a side business unrelated to my salaried employment. Am I entitled to a qualified business income tax deduction for my earnings? Answer: Taxpayers meeting the statutory requirements are entitled to a deduction of 20% of their qualified business income. Qualified business income (“QBI”) generally consists of income derived from sole proprietorships and so-called pass-thru entities such as partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations where business income is reported on the owners’ personal income tax returns. Your self-employment income may be eligible for the QBI deduction. No…
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…
In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., Case No. 12-3289 (C.D. Ill. Sep. 26, 2019), the court held that Cincinnati Insurance Company (“Cincinnati”) owes coverage for H.D. Smith’s settlement of a lawsuit filed by the State of West Virginia arising out of the opioid crisis (“the West Virginia Lawsuit”). Three years ago, the Seventh Circuit held that Cincinnati owed a duty to defend H.D. Smith in the West Virginia Lawsuit in one of the few published opinions weighing in on whether opioid-related claims may be covered under commercial general liability insurance policies. Relying heavily on…
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…
Employers face a known but largely unquantifiable risk when they give their employees access to their confidential or proprietary information, trade secrets, and customers.  Some ignore these risks, hope for the best, and trust that they have hired only loyal, honest, and honorable workers.  Such employers basically risk the loss of critical assets and the success of their business in the fickle hands of their employees.  The same workers whose personal career experience or that of spouses, relatives, or friends has taught them because of repeated reorganizations and their attendant reductions-in-force to doubt the loyalty of employers. In view of…
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…
A condo association held an insurance policy on its condo buildings. In 2014, a hail and wind storm damaged the siding on several of the buildings. The storm, however, damaged only the south and west-facing sides of the buildings. The association’s insurer initially paid the association several million to repair the damage, which covered the replacement cost of siding for the south and west sides of the buildings. The association found, however, that matching siding was no longer produced. The insurer refused to pay the cost of replacing the siding on all sides of the building, so the association sued.…
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…
Many lawyers have just not taken the time to get training in e-discovery. The rules have changed.  It’s no longer about “documents” in the sense of paper.  It’s about getting information in a digital format, which is why the rules now refer to ESI – which refers to Electronically Stored Information. What is e-discovery?   It has been defined as “the process of identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, searching, reviewing and producing Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) that may be relevant” in a legal proceeding.  [See, Maura Grossman and Gordan V. Cormack, The Grossman-Cormack Glossary of Technology-Assisted Review, Federal Courts Law Review, 2013 Feds. Cts. L.…
A couple purchased an RV from a retailer in 2014. The RV came with a warranty from the manufacturer that limited the warranties to one year from the date of purchase. The warranty required that the purchasers notify the manufacturer or an authorized dealer within five days of discovering any defect. The purchasers experienced continual problems with the RV over the time that they owned it. The RV was repaired multiple times, but the service technicians were never able to fully resolve the defects. The purchasers asked the manufacturer to repurchase the RV from them. When the manufacturer refused, the…
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…