Hospitality, Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Law

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Post Polak counsels national and locally-based clients in the hotel and restaurant industries and liquor distributors and retailers on a wide range of issues in the alcoholic beverage and hospitality fields. Our practice includes coordinating and processing liquor license transfers and renewals (including multiple unit transfers for national hotel and restaurant chains), assuring compliance with other regulatory reporting requirements, appearing before regulatory agencies and courts on alcoholic beverage and hospitality-related matters and providing licensing and transactional counseling (including for site selection and land use concerns).

We pride ourselves on our familiarity with New Jersey liquor laws and regulations and our positive working relationships with the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control ("NJABC") and various municipalities throughout the state. Our attorneys are active in the field and are attuned to the issues and legislative initiatives that can impact those in this heavily regulated industry.

We practice in areas of the law that apply to the unique needs of businesses in the hospitality industry, including individual restaurateurs and franchisers, restaurant chains, packaged food companies, licensors, hoteliers, food manufacturers and wholesalers. Our attorneys are equipped to advise and counsel concerning specific needs, including concerns relating to business and corporate, real estate and land use, labor and employment, litigation including contract disputes, environmental matters, construction, bankruptcy and intellectual property. In addition, we possess deep experience in handling government regulatory matters involving zoning, licensing and environmental disputes.

We identify issues particular to the restaurant/hospitality industry and provide the perspective needed with regard to:

  • Startup funding and organizational matters
  • Corporate finance issues
  • Purchase and sale of restaurants and their assets;
  • Licensing and franchising
  • Employee benefit
  • Litigation services, including contract disputes and the defense of employment and wage-and-hour suits
  • Alcoholic beverage licensing, compliance and regulatory issues
  • Intellectual property issues involving registration and protection of trademarks and patents and litigation of infringement claims 
  • Real estate, including leasing, zoning and land use issues
  • Property tax appeals
  • Negotiations and representation in tax disputes with the IRS and state tax authorities
  • Negotiating and drafting buy-sell agreements and other business contracts
  • Construction, including negotiation and monitoring of contracts and litigation of disputes
  • Representation of creditors and debtors in bankruptcy

Post Polak’s team serves the alcohol beverage industry in all legal matters related to the production, distribution and sale of licensed beverages, including liquor law, the marketing and advertising of alcohol beverages, taxation, intellectual property, regulatory compliance and dispute resolution.

Navigating the complex alcohol beverage industry requires more than just an understanding of the applicable laws and regulations. It requires a working relationship with the administrators and government personnel who enforce those laws and regulations.  Our Alcohol Beverage team includes Jerry Fischer, who served between 2000 and 2012 as the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control for the State of New Jersey.

We advise domestic and international manufacturers, distributors and retailers on a full spectrum of legal issues related to alcohol law, including:

  • regulatory compliance and licensing
  • governmental relations and representation
  • trade practices and customs matters
  • defense against administrative or enforcement actions
  • e-commerce and Internet marketing
  • protection of intellectual property rights
  • interstate and international trade and shipping
  • bankruptcy and creditors' rights concerns
  • marketing and advertising compliance
  • dispute resolution, including litigation and appellate representation
  • alcohol legislation and advocacy
  • tax compliance and planning
  • environment, land use and water laws

We advise clients as to the appropriate alcohol beverage federal and state licenses and permits necessary to conduct business and assist them in the preparation and filing of the appropriate application and supporting forms with TTB and state alcohol beverage authorities. We advise clients with respect to the consequences to their licenses and permits resulting from internal restructuring of the client and of ownership changes resulting from mergers and acquisitions. More recently, we have been engaged to advise clients with respect to the state laws applicable to conducting internet sales, including state licensing requirements.

We counsel our clients with respect to the creation and maintenance of wholesaler distribution networks under state distributor relationship/termination laws. We advise our client as to the appropriate language to include in their distribution and brokerage agreements.