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.

Ashley Brandt Blogs

Latest from Ashley Brandt

The United States Department of Agriculture has released its initial guidance through an interim rule, the Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program (link to the full text). The rule is part of the system mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill governing hemp production and should be followed by FDA guidance and a flood of state statutory and regulatory rulings regarding the marketing, sale, and distribution of hemp and hemp-based products like CBDs. The rule regarding hemp production programs will likely become the final rule, but is technically emplaced for only two years and gets replaced by the final rule.…
The slow march to realizing the impacts of the Tennessee Wine ruling will unfold over the next few years as states refuse to reconsider their in-state vs. out-of-state alcohol regulations and legislation and choose to fight those businesses and individuals claiming that various alcohol regulations or laws discriminate against in-state vs. out-of-state interests in violation of the Commerce Clause. For instance, in our neck of the woods, both Indiana and Iowa allow in-state brewers the privilege of self-distribution but do not allow out-of-state brewers the same privilege as states like Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan do. The advocates for change have…
A beer distributor had a distribution agreement with Monster Energy to be the exclusive distributor for Monster’s products for a fixed term in a specified territory. Monster sought to terminate the relationship and the parties went to arbitration to determine whether the distributor, Olympic Eagle, was entitled to protection under state law – specifically questioning whether Monster Energy had good cause to terminate Olympic as would be required if a state-specific franchise law applied. The parties chose an arbitrator from JAMS and the arbitrator’s packet disclosed the following: I practice in association with JAMS. Each JAMS neutral, including me,…
When last we reported on this particular facet of the MillerCoors Anheuser-Busch corn syrup litigation, it was an interesting exchange noted from the oral argument. Judge Easterbrook noted in oral argument as an oddly astute aside that it must be hard to remove all residual sugars in a product. You can read about that and listen to the oral argument about the beer here. He’s right. And he would also likely have access to the sealed documents. Which, Anheuser-Busch just moved to unseal and, which Law360 is reporting say that Anheuser-Busch has conducted testing that proves its competitor’s beers actually…
In a turn of events that was completely predictable in hindsight given the questions at oral argument, the 7th Circuit issued a decision sparking a pragmatic dissent remanding the MillerCoors Anheuser-Busch corn syrup appeal instructing the Federal District Court to clean up the method in which it issued the injunction and subsequent rulings. The opinion, issued on Friday, sends the beer advertising dispute back to the district court for no other reason than a belief that Rule 65 requires a district court to enter an injunction on a separate piece of paper. “Although the district court’s intent to…
Live telecast oral arguments may be a federal rarity, but MIssissippi is a bellwether when it comes to access to justice.   The oral arguments in this wine shipping case can be viewed live on the Mississippi Supreme Court’s website at https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/sc/scoa.php  Oral argument is set for November 13, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. (CST). You can find the briefs and read our take on the arguments in the Mississippi wine shipping case in the two entries we’ve done on the case here, and here. At issue is the applicability of the contracting scheme undertaken by some online alcohol…
The application forms for Illinois adult use cannabis dispensaries are now available through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for the first round of cannabis dispensaries that will be issued licenses by May 1, 2020. The Department will be accepting cannabis dispensary license applications starting on December 10, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. through noon on January 2, 2020 (if you’re in line at that time, they’ll take your application). Here’s how the map for the Bureau of Labor Statistics breakdown for where the cannabis dispensary licenses (those in addition to the medical cannabis dispensaries that exist and may…
Back in October we wrote about Michigan’s Lebamoff decision and the win it represents for nationally open markets and alcohol delivery. You can read the entry on the District Court’s opinion allowing out-of-state alcohol retailers to deliver to in-state consumers here, as well as the follow-up describing the stay granted for allowing the State of Michigan the chance to appeal the decision to open the beverage retail market for shipping from out-of-state liquor retailers here. The case is part of the slow plod in bringing Commerce Clause equality to the alcohol industry taking place in the wake of…
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…