Ashley Brandt

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. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people.

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They’re looking to get a bill through committee by hastily amending it and then removing a procedural hurdle that would require that the public and the People of Illinois receive notice of a proper hearing and have time to review and submit comment and address legislation that REMOVES THE ABILITY OF EVERY ILLINOIS CITY, TOWN, and VILLAGE TO REGULATE DELIVERY OF ALCOHOL (except Chicago of course), potentially defies Supreme Court precedent regarding taxation, screws over small in-town retailers in favor of large out-of-town retailers, and also still seeks to address only delivery and not shipping. That’s right, legislators are pushing…
Crain’s Chicago Business ran a listicle by John Pletz this morning entitled the 5 things you didn’t know were in the Illinois weed bill. But what about all the other things you need to know about Illinois’s new marijuana legislation, all the regulations, the licenses, the incentives? We’re going to take the time over the next few weeks to go through the 533 page proposed Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and discuss Illinois’s foray into cannabis cultivation and dispensing – assuming it passes in a reasonably similar form to what’s proposed in current Senate Bill #7 – starting…
Back in 2016 we wrote about the Consumer Review Fairness Act passed by congress to protect people’s ability to share “their honest opinions about a business’s products, services, or conduct, in any forum, including social media.” The Act makes it illegal for a company, like a craft brewery, to use a contract provision (this includes doing it in the terms of service on your website) that: bars or restricts the ability of a person who is a party to that contract to review a company’s products, services, or conduct; imposes a penalty or fee against someone who gives a review;…
In another blow to e-cigarettes that could have repercussions for many industries utilizing vaping technologies, a Federal Judge has ruled that the FDA must move its submission date from its announced 2022 to 2021 to expedite its review of e-cigarette products. The recent e-cigarette ruling finds that the FDA failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act for comment and notice in issuing the guidance that the FDA ultimately issued that gave rise to this suit taking issue with the pace at which the FDA has been progressing: Defendants do not state, even generally, when  the draft guidance will be…
Haplessness appears to have saved the founder/head brewer of a brewery that never got off the ground from having to stick with a debt after filing for personal bankruptcy and repay $140k that some investors claimed he should owe them. The brewery, Bulk Head Brewing Co. – did not open after years of work by a young brewer. The brewery’s failure forced him into bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, the investors looking for a return of the money they’d invested and the money they’d also been forced to pay as a result of being personal guarantors on a loan the business defaulted…
The blog Wynning History posted in February about the tortuous history of D.G. Yuengling Jr.’s James River Steam Brewery in a piece that weaves the history of an ill-fated brewery founded in the late 1860s which was capable of production in excess of 400 barrels per day by the 1870s before its demise in the 1880s. The article provides some information on the origin of the brewery from historian Mike Gorman’s piece for All About Beer magazine from 2016 and also cites to an 1896 article from the Richmond Dispatch shedding some light on the name: First we have the…
You may have thought this had pittered out. I certainly did after I took this picture of cases of Guns ‘N’ Rosé beer on the trade show floor at the April Craft Brewers’ Conference in Denver: Guns ‘N’ Rosé beer on trade show floor at Craft Brewers’ Conference But it didn’t. Not everyone thinks this is parody. The parodied certainly don’t. Guns N’ Roses filed this lawsuit (link to complaint) yesterday against Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective over the Oskar Blues Guns ‘N’ Rosé alleging trademark infringement, dilution, unfair competition, and misappropriation. Paging through the exhibits, you’ll find letters back-and-forth between…
MillerCoors filed its response to Anheuser-Busch’s Motion to Dismiss and its reply in support of its request for a preliminary injunction yesterday. As we wrote about before, here, and here, this case is the result of the Bud Light advertising campaign about corn syrup’s use in brewing Coors Light and Miller Lite. In this latest filing on the request to enjoin Anheuser-Busch from continuing with the corn syrup based advertising campaign, MillerCoors calls Anheuser’s claims about transparency nonsense and continues to argue that the intent of the campaign remains to sow consumer confusion about the presence of corn…
We’ve previously discussed and uploaded the briefs for you in this case Wal-Mart is brining against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (both links to our pieces covering the case with the briefs). Briefly, Wal-Mart challenged and won a district court case against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission arguing certain Texas alcoholic beverage licensing laws violated the Commerce Clause by restricting the types of liquor licenses publicly traded companies could hold. The Texas statute banned public corporations from obtaining liquor burdened interstate commerce through a discriminatory impact (which was intended by the legislature) of keeping out-of-state companies like Wal-Mart from holding…
The USPTO issued guidance on cannabis associated trademarks on May 2 (here’s a link and we’ve embedded it below). We’ve long seen denials of cannabis, hemp, and marijuana related trademarks based on TMEP §907 where the use in commerce forming the basis for the registration must be lawful. This same criteria has been fertile ground for litigating and invalidating many beer, wine and spirits marks where do-it-yourself applicants file before they’re properly permitted or licensed. The new guidance from the trademark office acknowledges that the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp and cbd products derived from hemp with less than…
Ashley Brandt 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. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I’ve got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily…
The full bill will get introduced in the form of an amendment to Senate Bill 7 – likely today or tomorrow. This weekend, the Governor’s office unveiled a detailed summary of what this proposed Illinois leaglization of marijuana law will look like. Giving you a taste of how cannabis regulation in Illinois is likely going to function. Once the full bill is introduced, we’ll do a detailed analysis of its points, but for now, here’s the Governor’s summary: Illinois-summary-of-Cannabis-Bill
The post from Wednesday about an amended version of Senate Bill 54 – an odd little unthoughful piece of legislation regarding liquor delivery by retailers in Illinois – detailed the many failings of the draft legislation. The least of which was an inconsistency and failure to recognize that shipping and delivery are both used in a portion of the liquor control act granting those rights to retailers. Following the post, a Representative from Chicago proposed an amendment to the bill exempting the entirety of the City of Chicago from statute. So Chicago would be free to pass restrictions regarding delivery…
I’m a big fan of the Illinois State Bar Association. Also, I’m a member. So let me take a minute to plug their new website – Illinois Lawyer Now. They’ve created it in conjunction with LexBlog as an aggregator of informative legal blogs from Illinois (and other) attorneys/firms who take the time to run blogs. There’s an odd infatuation with capitalization in blog entry titles, but we should grant this little editorial idiosyncrasy as proof that there’s an Illinois Lawyer NOW style.Check it out to see what great people like Rhys Saunders, Julie Tappendorf, R. David
Caleb Whitmer’s recent National Review article assessing the nonsensical and anti-consumer state of alcohol regulation poignantly concluded that: “Government and business interests have animated the corpses of rotting temperance laws, ironically employing them to prop up some of the forces that the Prohibition movement was intent on knocking down. As a result, consumers pay more for alcohol, have access to less variety, and are more limited in where they can purchase it than they otherwise would be. Reasonable restrictions on alcohol are, of course, appropriate, but — at the risk of sounding pollyannaish — ideally lawmakers would craft those restrictions…
Recently, the TTB expounded on its 2018 guidance regarding hemp derivatives (THC and CBD) to change the status for a few hemp derivatives while it works on an updated guidance. Since the Farm Bill from 2018 excluded “hemp” from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, the TTB wanted to address queries about producing alcoholic beverages with ingredients like CBDs derived from hemp. In the 2018 guidance, the TTB informed brewers, distillers, vintners (everybody) that they would not approve formulas or labels for alcoholic beverages that contained controlled substances under Federal law. In the new 2019-1 notice, the…