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Protecting Your Brewery’s (or small business) Trade Secrets

ThreeBeersIf you work in a creative, competitive and/or highly specialized industry, you have confidential business information worthy of protecting from your competition.  Brewery operations require quite a bit of information (often shared with employees) that should be protected from misuse or misappropriation.  This information may include the obvious, such as your unique recipes and brewing process, and other business information such as sales and marketing tools and practices and customer lists.

Eventually, as your brewery or small business grows, you will have employees with access to recipes, processes and methods.  These issues should be addressed in employment agreements with non-compete and non-disclosure clauses.

In Florida, a non-compete agreement/covenant must be in writing and signed by the employee.  This is most simply accomplished by including it in the employment agreement. The existence of such a provision works to […]

By |August 1st, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

How Much Beer is Too Much? Florida Law says 64 Ounces is Too Much. 128 Ounces is Not?

craft-beer-week-new-york-city-photo-ccWhile small breweries around the country were providing consumers with new tastes and quality beer, Florida lagged behind.  Just as Florida lagged behind in the craft brew craze, Florida’s laws lag behind the rest of the country as Florida’s craft beer industry is burgeoning.  Specifically, Florida’s craft breweries can fill its consumers’ 32 ounce (1 quart) and 128 ounce (1 gallon) growlers ((A growler is a refillable container or jug into which tap beer is poured for home consumption.)), but any sizes in between are illegal.  That includes, of course, the 64 ounce growler, which also happens to be the industry’s standard size. ((The 64 ounce growler is also illegal in Utah.))

During Florida’s recently completed legislative session, a bill was introduced that would have legalized the 64 ounce growler.  The bill died in the Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee.  Why?  (Lobbyists/Special Interests). […]

By |July 10th, 2013|Blog|Comments Off on How Much Beer is Too Much? Florida Law says 64 Ounces is Too Much. 128 Ounces is Not?

Addressing Widespread Seafood Fraud

Triggerfish

Recent studies by Oceana and others have alerted many consumers that they cannot be completely sure where the seafood on their plate came from or even what kind of fish is on their plate.  Earlier in the year, Oceana published the results of extensive testing and revealed that one-third of the seafood samples tested across the country were mislabeled.  Generally, consumers imagine restaurants and markets passing off mackerel as grouper or farmed salmon as wild salmon so they can charge the highest possible price.  Seafood fraud, however, includes a variety of other activities, such as over-breading prepared seafood products or packaging fish with too much ice to artificially increase the weight of seafood products to drive up the price.  Seafood fraud isn’t always employed merely as a means of simply passing costs along to the consumers.

For example, foreign seafood producers […]

By |July 8th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Court Considers SEC’s Unbundling Rules, Common Sense Abound

We recently had the occasion in our office to review a proxy statement that recommended certain amendments of a company’s certificate of incorporation.   This got us thinking about the SEC’s “unbundling” requirements.

ProxySampleAfter shortly rehashing the rule, we’ll happily move into quite a bit of plain English analysis.  First, Rule 14a-4(a)(3), requires that the form of proxy “shall identify clearly and impartially each separate matter intended to be acted upon, whether or not related to or conditioned on the approval of other matters.” 17 C.F.R. §240.14a-4(a)(3).  Rule 14a-4(b)(1) requires that shareholders have “an opportunity to specify by boxes a choice between approval or disapproval of, or abstention with respect to each separate matter referred to therein as intended to be acted upon.” 17 C.F.R. § 240.14a-4(b)(1).  Therefore, the “unbundling” rules “require distinct voting items on ‘each separate matter’” in a management proposal.  17 C.F.R. […]

By |July 3rd, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Persistence Pays: Appealing Insurance Denial Can be Fruitful

When preparing for surgery, nerves are likely already high.  A health insurance denial only adds to the problem.  Many people don’t learn until after their procedure that their procedure will not be covered by their medical insurance.  In some situations – emergencies for example – it’s unavoidable.  But when you have an opportunity to schedule a surgery in advance, it is best to ensure that your insurance company plans to cover the procedure as expected.  Take the initiative to make a phone call and seek to speak with a supervisor.  If you can find out that the insurance company will cover the procedure, ask for an email address so you can follow up with a confirmation email.  Of course, it won’t always be so simple.

If you are told that the procedure isn’t covered – or if you know it falls outside of your insurance coverage (whether as a result of […]

By |July 2nd, 2013|Blog|0 Comments