Self Service Legal Sites

Self-Serve Legal Websites I wanted to weigh in on the self-serve legal sites that we’re seeing advertised more and more. Well, I’m not going to name names here, but let’s just say that the most popular version of these rhymes with Should we use these sites? Why or why not? What’s the worst that […]

Trademark Snarkiness. Really?

Trademark Snarkiness   Recently, I’m sure you probably saw it – it got a lot of coverage, even from NPR) – Exit 6 Brewery got pretty snarky with Starbucks. And Starbucks defended itself (somewhat) here. I had several people ask me about this; what my thoughts were, what I would have done, etc. I promised […]

New Beer, Old Building, New Headaches

Moving a Brewery into a Historic Building? Think Twice. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. In fact, I’m all for revitalizing derelict structures or repurposing really cool old buildings into breweries, distilleries, brewpubs, whatever. But, there are some serious considerations if you’re going to do it. I’ve outlined some of my concerns (some legal […]

Why are (some) Trademark Attorneys Jerks?

I do a fair bit of work in intellectual property and, especially, trademark issues. It always surprises me what bullies, blusterers, and even a$$holes trademark attorneys can be. The general jerky-ness of attorneys is well publicized in social media and the vast number of lawyer jokes out there (for example: But, even among lawyers, […]

Unpaid Internships – Free Labor! Not Quite…

I originally posted this on our sister site over at But recently, I saw a very similar question discussed on a forum specifically for brewers and breweries. I thought I’d repost it here in case anyone is dealing with the same issues. Unpaid Internships – It’s a Buyer’s Market, Right? Many growing companies and businesses […]

Trademarks? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Trademarks!

  This is the obligatory trademark blog post. I say that because it seems to be one of the most common and most commented on topics in craft beer (at least in legal circles) other than the effect of the Gov Shutdown on the TTB. In fact, the cover story in Sept/Oct 2013 issue of […]

Employee or Independent Contractor?

In this (brief) post, I won’t go into why you might want to designate someone an “independent contractor” as opposed to an “employee,” but rather what you have to do to make that designation stick. Often, businesses want to avoid generating an employer-employee relationship and would prefer to have an Independent Contractor perform certain tasks […]

The “New” Growler Law – What’s it mean for NC Breweries?

Session Law 2013-76 was signed into law by Governor McCrory on June 12, 2013. Formerly numbered as H829 and titled “An Act To Allow Certain ABC Permittees To Sell Malt Beverages In Certain Containers For Consumption Off  The Permitted Premises,” and colloquially referred to as “The Growler Law.”   OK. That’s great, but what does […]

The Role of Big Box Stores in Craft Beer

So, the other day, I was taking a good friend (but neophyte beer guy) to a great little beer store near me. When we got to the store, we got out of the car. Now, I happen to know that this place has one of the greatest beer selections in the area, but my friend’s […]

Best of… week of August 13, 2012

Here’s my round-up (a couple of days late) of last weeks best stories and articles for Small Business and Beer Business. Small Business I often advise clients on when is the right time to incorporate or form a business (i.e. start acting as a business and not as a person) and why. Thanks to Nina […]

Best of… week of August 6, 2012

Ok, well, it’s that time again… time to recap the week. But, I took an unexpected week off last week so I need to catch up. Here’s the best from the last TWO weeks! Small Business As folks look to form businesses, you have to ask yourself questions about what kind of structure makes sense […]

Best of… week of July 23

Okey dokey… here’s my wrap up of what’s happening and “things you should know” from this past week in Small Business and the Craft Beer Business: Small Business Love this: “(Q) How many lawyer jokes are there? (A) Three – the rest are true stories.” I’ve been following Nina Kaufman the last couple of weeks […]

Best of… week of July 16

  It’s that time again! It has been a busier week than I had realized, there’s a lot to cover, so get ready. Here’s my summary of the best articles in (small) Business and (craft) Beer   Small Business   This year has some special issues going on for personal and corporate/business taxes. Here’s a […]

Best of… for the week of July 9

NEXT! Here’s the roundup for this week: Small Business I heard a statistic that the most people will have an average of 5 careers in their working life. That means that there’s got to be a lot of people out there with life and work changes. Maybe the best person for the job isn’t the […]

Can a Brewery be a Non-Profit?

Wait, no. I mean intentionally a non-profit organization? I’m sure there are plenty of brewer/owners out there that would readily admit that their business is currently a “non-profit.” I mean, in the legal, tax-status sense. And the answer is: maybe. Maybe Classic lawyer-speak, “maybe.” What I really mean is that maybe you could, but I […]

How do the “big boys” fit with Craft Beer and the Craft Beer Business?

I’ve been thinking about the Big Beer companies, the big and the getting-bigger companies. The story starts a few weeks ago. I had been watching a thread on a forum where a homebrewer started off by saying something like “I can’t drink macro lager anymore. I can’t believe anyone who like craft beer can stand […]

Best of… for the week of June 25th

  Ok, so here’s the roundup for this week: Small Business   Are you focusing on your social media marketing? Thinking about how you use social media to dive sales? What about a social media policy in your business? Here are 5 Bad Habits Small Business Have With Social Media.   Once you have defined […]

Starting a Business: Inc v LLC

PC, PA, LLC, LLP, Inc, LLLP, huh? There are so many acronyms and they’re thrown around all willy-nilly. What’s an aspiring entrepreneur to do? So, here’s the thing. Each of these denotes a form of business, how a business is structured and who the “owner” is. Each is also relates to two special topics: (1) […]

Best of… for the week of June 18, 2012

Ok, so here’s the round up for this past week. I’m going to try and separate by topic area, but there’s a lot to cover, so buckle in! Small Business Beware the Paralyzing “Whac-A-Mole” Trademark Mentality Trademark: develop a trademark strategy. First, don’t run after a trademark after someone else has started using it. Then […]

Why should a brewery start out as an LLC?

So, I got this question late last week and advised a client appropriately, but perhaps it is worth a bit more discussion / generalization. Sorry this post turned out longer than most, but it is all important stuff. So here goes: You may have seen my article earlier on LLC v Inc, and that is […]

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