Sunday, September 29, 2013
Eighth Circuit Rejects Southern Wine and Spirits Appeal, Says States May Discriminate Against Out of State Wholesalers.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
On September 25, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 10, increasing
Previously proposed versions of this Bill provided the increase over a five year period and that after January 1, 2016 annual increases would be tied to
Governor Brown called the Bill an overdue piece of legislation that will help working-class families and close the gap between "workers at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy."
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
For more information or assistance on wage and hour matters contact Jennifer Phillips at email@example.com
Monday, September 23, 2013
By October 1, 2013, all employers covered by the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), regardless of size, must issue a notice to their employees about the new health insurance options available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Health insurance options will be available through health care exchanges and marketplaces on January 1, 2014. ACA requires employers to provide notices to their current employees about these new options no later than October 1, 2013. AfterJanuary 1, 2014, employers will be required to provide such notice to new employees within 14 days of their start date. Employers must give the notice even if they do not offer health insurance coverage to employees.
Employers are covered by FLSA if they employ one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce with at least $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business. FLSA may also cover employees of companies that do not meet the $500,000 annual dollar volume test in any workweek employees are individually engaged in interstate commerce, the production of goods for interstate commerce, or an activity that is closely related and directly essential to the production of such goods. Wineries and wine-related companies with annual dollar volume of less than $500,000 should carefully consider if their employees are nevertheless covered by FLSA.
Information about what to include in the notice, as well as model notices, can be found on the Department of Labor’s website here (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/index.html). Employers may wish to modify the model forms so that they provide effective notice to their employees. Some of the language on the model form may cause additional confusion. We encourage you to consult with your legal counsel and health plan administrators for assistance.
For more information or assistance please contact Jennifer Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
A few years ago, I wrote about the producer’s lien. As I explained in my prior post, the law provides a grape grower with an automatic lien against any wine made from the grower's grapes. This lien, called a “producer’s lien,” means that the winery cannot lawfully sell the wine without paying the grower. It gives a grower great legal protection.
While the concept behind the producer’s lien is simple, it can get complicated in practice. For example, a recent situation involved a grower who sold grapes to a winery, but delivered the grapes to a custom crush facility for crushing and fermentation. The winery then failed to pay both the grower and the custom crush facility. Does the grower still have a producer’s lien? Does the custom crush facility have a producer’s lien?
In this situation, the custom crush facility claimed it was a “producer” and consequently entitled to a lien against the wine it had now made for the winery. The custom crush facility would not, therefore, release the wine to the grower or the winery until it was paid. The grower, however, also claimed a lien against the wine, and demanded that the custom crush facility give the wine to the grower, even though the grower had not been paid. The winery also demanded the wine, because it needed to sell the wine to pay both the custom crush facility and the grower.
Unfortunately for the custom crush facility, only the grower can claim a producer’s lien. While the custom crush facility might argue it is a “producer”, the producer’s lien applies only to a producer who “sells any product which is grown by him. . .” (See
This means that the grower can force the custom crush facility to return the wine to the grower so the grower can sell the wine to recover what it is owed. The grower obtains the lien automatically (and this lien takes priority over all other liens), but the grower may need to take legal action to force the custom crush facility to cooperate and turn over the wine to the grower.
But what is the custom crush facility to do? In this situation, the custom crush facility will need to take action to obtain a junior lien against the wine. It will want to make sure that, if the grower sells the wine, it can still get whatever money is left after the grower’s bills are paid. It does not automatically obtain the benefit of a lien, as the grower does. It has to go out and get its lien.
Happily in this situation, the grower, the custom crush facility, and the winery were all able and willing (with the assistance of counsel) to cooperate without legal action. The grower sold the wine and took a portion of the proceeds to satisfy its bills. The custom crush facility then took some of the proceeds left over to satisfy its bills. And, there was still a little left over for the winery.
If you have any questions about contract disputes or producer’s liens, please contact John N. Heffner email@example.com.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Trotter filed his answer yesterday, in which he denies that the wine sold to Plaintiffs is counterfeit or fraudulent.
Trotter's answer can be found via the link below: