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So far Sean O'Leary has created 122 blog entries.

WSWA files amicus brief in Supreme Court case: read press release below

By |2020-04-13T20:44:34+00:00November 20th, 2018|Breaking News, Liquor Case Discussion|

Three-Tier System and State Authority to Regulate Alcohol are Supported by Twenty-First Amendment and Prior Supreme Court Cases, WSWA Notes in Amicus Filing

Association Files Brief in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Clayton Byrd, Et Al.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court has long-upheld that the Twenty-first Amendment provides […]

NCSLA 2018, Pasadena, Part III: What’s in the regulator’s mind?

By |2020-04-13T21:11:04+00:00November 12th, 2018|Conference Reviews|

This is the 3rd and final post on the NCSLA Conference. A great conference full of amazing panels. We are back in frigid Chicago and miss L.A.. Enjoy this great love song to L.A.. See all of you NCSLA members in Louisville, until then, enjoy life to its fullest!
Revealing the Great OZ: Behind […]

NCSLA 2018, Pasadena, Part II: Cannabis Panel

By |2020-04-13T21:11:04+00:00November 8th, 2018|Conference Reviews|

Cannabis legalization: The Alcohol Industry- Spectator or Participant?


Rick Garza, Executive Director, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board


Rebecca Stamey-White, Partner, Hinman & Carmichael LLP., San Francisco, CA

Rob Patridge, Government Transformation, Deloitte Consulting, LLP, Medford, OR

Mark Gorman, Senior V.P. for Govt. Relations, Distilled Spirits Council

Smoke Wallin, President, Vertica 



This panel was an interesting discussion […]

NCSLA Central/Western Regional Conference 2018, Pasadena, Part I

By |2020-04-13T21:10:48+00:00November 1st, 2018|Conference Reviews|


Irish Liquor Lawyer honored to speak at the home of Rose Bowl

I had the distinct privilege of speaking at this great conference and I am very thankful that Carrie Bonnington, a nationally renowned liquor attorney, selected me for this panel.


Many thanks abound for a wonderful conference

Many thanks to Pam Frantz from […]

Will Byrd actually tackle the most important constitutional issue?

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00October 15th, 2018|Liquor Case Discussion|

The conventional wisdom is that the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Byrd (Byrd) case would decide the most important constitutional issue facing the liquor world, whether Granholm extends to retailers.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted cert and should decide whether out-of-state retailers can ship into a state, or whether the states have complete power […]

NCSLA 2018 Atlantic City, Part II

By |2020-04-13T21:11:04+00:00October 7th, 2018|Conference Reviews|



This is the second half of my review on the NCSLA 2018 Northern/Southern Regional Conference in Atlantic City.

Previously, I reviewed the constitutional law issues.

Greetings from Atlantic City: Constitutional Law Liquor Panel

Today I’m going to cover the other two crucial sessions: 1. TTB trade practice investigations; and 2. Emerging technology and how […]

The Lebamoff Michigan case: Are courts chipping away at the defense that laws are made to maintain the integrity of the three-tier system?

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00October 1st, 2018|Liquor Case Discussion|


Lebamoff, an Indiana retailer, sued the State of Michigan because it could not obtain a license to sell and ship its products from Indiana to Michigan customers. Michigan develop a license, a Specially Designed Merchant License (“SDM”), which allowed a license holder to deliver directly to Michigan consumers using a common-carrier, their own vehicles, or […]

Speed is important but accuracy is paramount: How I dealt with the Byrd Supreme Court cert. issue

By |2020-04-13T21:10:22+00:00September 28th, 2018|Liquor Case Discussion|

Here is an explanation on my adventures with the United States Supreme Court yesterday. I posted yesterday around 1:30pm that the court granted cert in the Byrd v. Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers case. Around 2:30pm I had to repost on my blog that the link to the page that granted cert disappeared, mysteriously. Here […]

Update from the Supreme Court about Byrd case

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00September 27th, 2018|Breaking News, Liquor Case Discussion|

Earlier today the Supreme Court posted on their website that they granted to Cert to hear the Byrd v. Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers case. This case has huge implications on the liquor as the Supreme Court could be deciding whether Granholm extends to retailers or whether it is limited to manufacturers.

Even though two other sources, […]

Can the states utilize the taxman to cure its ills

By |2020-04-13T20:45:04+00:00September 12th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|


Many states including my home state of Illinois, do not allow out-of-state retailers to ship to in-state customers. Problematically for these states enforcing these laws are tough and sometimes close to impossible. States try different methods to stop out-of-state retailers from shipping to in-state customers, but the states really lack a strong deterrence for stopping […]