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

Here’s a great case from behind the cheddar curtain. You know, the state where the Department of Revenue makes no bones about its right to serve law: Can an underage person possess and consume alcohol beverages on licensed premises? Yes. Persons under age 21 may possess and consume alcohol beverages if they are with their parents, guardians or spouses of legal drinking age; but this is at the discretion of the licensee. The licensed premises may choose to prohibit consumption and possession of alcohol beverages by underage persons. (Sec. 125.07(1), Wis. Stats.) A Wisconsin appellate panel helped the…
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has announced that the applications for the state’s second round of Business Interruption Grants go live on September 17. In the second round, an additional $220 million is available for small businesses in Illinois. The first round was a success – you can see the list of grant recipients here. The second round is open to all small businesses meeting the criteria, but there are some priorities established for this round: Heavily Impacted Industries – $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues,…
Citing to dictionary definitions of “margarita,” “mojito,” “rose,” and “spritz,” a group of Anheuser-Busch-Rita-beverage-buying consumers is looking to get some money claiming they (and potentially all other purchasers) were duped into buying Anheuser’s Rita “Cosmos” and “Mojitos” expecting beverages made with spirits and not malt beverage bases.  Demonstrative from Complaint These packaging examples from the complaint (link to complaint) demonstrate the main points, detailed through argument – that the use of certain words, both in common parlance and even in the regulatory updates from the Tax and Trade Bureau, lead consumers to believe, or have a common association with alcohol…
With Illinois’s limited cannabis dispensary licensing system the stakes are large for applicants that didn’t achieve the total 252 points that would allow participation in the upcoming lottery for the award of the provisional applications. A group of applicants that did not make the cut filed a lawsuit challenging the process and pointing out irregularities with the scoring process and questioning the fundamental fairness of the judging. Key assertions made in the complaint include statements about the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act’s requirements that applicants be given an opportunity to cure any deficiencies (410 ILCS 705/15-30(b)) and that some of…
Illinois’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has posted the list of tied applicants who will be proceeding to drawings for the 75 conditional dispensary licenses. You can find the list here (link to their website) in case that doesn’t work, here’s the text: https://www.idfpr.com/Forms/AUC/2020%20Top%20scorer%20document.pdf Also, here. (grabbed it natively) The post Illinois posts list of tied cannabis dispensary applicants that will proceed to lottery for new dispensary licenses appeared first on Libation Law Blog.…
A pair of farm wineries challenged a portion of Minnesota’s farm winery law that mandates the farm winery produce its wines from ingredients grown or produced in Minnesota as violating the dormant commerce clause by favoring in-state Minnesota wine ingredient producers over out-of-state (and also a claim for foreign commerce clause violation) wine ingredient producers. Here’s the way the statute read: Subd. 11.Farm winery. “Farm winery” is a winery operated by the owner of a Minnesota farm and producing table, sparkling, or fortified wines from grapes, grape juice, other fruit bases, or honey with a majority of the ingredients grown…
Bell’s Brewery is racking up wins for brewers’ rights to obtain arbitration where agreements mandate arbitrations between the parties but distributors look to state franchise laws try to preempt those rights. The sad fact is that many parties do not understand how advantageous to their relationship a good arbitration provision can be. Arbitration allows parties to craft the scope of their proceedings in fashions such as agreeing to limit discovery, agreeing to a timetable to say that any dispute needs to be ready for a hearing 90 days from initiation, etc. It also allows parties to keep their disputes private…
A beef in Florida over an ancient state food purity law’s right to beat out a federal regulation allowing the banned ingredient (grains of paradise) is coming to an appellate conclusion. Briefly,  the appeal involves a recent preemption win that Bacardi had when a consumer brought suit against Bacardi based on a 150-year-old law on Florida’s books regarding some compounds and ingredients that, prior to decent Federal regulation and at a time when little was known about such compounds, declared different substances, including grains of paradise, adulterants and banned their use in liquor.  You will recall with amusement, the district…
We’ve written quite a bit over the years about Illinois’ beer franchise statute – the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act (BIFDA) and lectured ad nausea regarding how this law that was meant to help small distributors against large brewers has now been turned on its head by economic conditions and is a cudgel used by powerful distributors to beat down small brewers. The Illinois legislature has been negligent in not taking up the issue of reform as states like Colorado have where recognition of the history and economic reality of these laws has taken hold and craft brewers have exemptions…
Full disclosure, we’re a sponsor of the Hospitality Business Association of Chicago and respect and admire their tireless and timely work on behalf of Chicago liquor licensees, Chicago restaurants, and in providing Chicago liquor law related information.  During the COVID-19 topsy-turvy the HBAC has been updating and regularly reporting on Chicago liquor licensee and Chicago restaurant licensee issues relevant to re-opening, liquor license and retail food license enforcement, inspections, required documentation, and signage.  As part of that work, they’ve been sending out a regularly updated letter regarding those issues. I’ve gotten permission to share it with you as it is…
This fight has the industry on the edge of its chair. It involves the interplay and nebulous no-man’s-land between state and federal laws regarding cannabis.  The US Attorney’s office in Southern California is representing the DEA in a subpoena enforcement kerfuffle against the State of California and its Bureau of Cannabis Control that arose after the DEA sent a subpoena demanding the production of specific documents (licenses,license applications, and shipping manifests), for six adult-use cannabis licensed or related entities from the state agency responsible for licensing and regulating the medical and adult-use cannabis industry in California. The state marijuana regulator…
This case involves a shipment of spoiled wine – potentially “cooked” wine – the reason that arranging a refrigerated shipping container is an important point for many wine importers. The allegations are that Rang Dong Winery contracted with defendant Hillebrand to ship three containers of wine to Ho Chi Minh City Cat Lai Port, Vietnam. Rang Dong alleges Hillebrand represented that the shipment would be delivered to the Cat Lai Port, consistent with prior shipping arrangements between the two parties. Without notice, Hillebrand allegedly altered the shipment destination and ultimately delivered the cargo to Cai Mep Port, a different terminal…
For a week or two now #beerlaw twitter has been writing about the record breaking offer in compromise between Anheuser-Busch and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. A $5,000,000 payment for the charged violations (the allegations) of violating the trade practice laws set forth in 27 U.S.C. § 205 by:  entering into sponsorship agreements with various entities in the sports and entertainment industries requiring concessionaires and other retailers to purchase A-B’s malt beverages and prohibiting them from purchasing specific competitor brands;  inducing sports industry concessionaires to purchase A-B’s malt beverages by furnishing fixtures, equipment, and services;  reimbursing, through…
An Ohio Federal Court has marked two wine shipping cases as related. One suit has the State of Ohio as the plaintiff suing Wine.com and other online retailers in an attempt to stop the out-of-state liquor retailers from selling and shipping liquor direct to Ohioans and the other case is a wine direct shipping case from the same legal group pressing wine direct shipping cases across the country. In the State of Ohio case, the Attorney General is looking for a preliminary and then permanent injunction to halt alcohol direct to consumer sales by companies advertising “wine delivered right to…
I’m doing my best to draft headlines that tell you all you really need to know. Would that it were possible for this issue regarding the retail of alcohol, the Commerce Clause, and the 21st Amendment. We have discussed the problems with the 6th Circuit’s reversal of a District Court’s decision to allow out-of-state alcohol retailers to ship alcohol to Michigan residents where that right was enjoyed by in-state liquor retailers. There was a petition to rehear the case en banc that got denied and the next logical step (the only real one left) is the petition for certiorari. That…
Chicago liquor licensees without access to outdoor seating are ordered shuttered for indoor service once again beginning Friday, July 24. This comes less than a month after they were allowed to re-open on a limited capacity and took substantial steps and investments in PPE and other measures to meet guidelines for Chicago liquor licensees and Illinois liquor license requirements. The press release detailing the renewed restrictions lists the following restrictions: Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors. Restaurants that serve…