Kaufman & Canoles Undefeated on Administrative Matters Before Virginia ABC

June 2011—Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. is pleased to announce that Mark C. Shuford and Matthew B. Chmiel recently obtained their fifth straight victory in administrative matters before the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Their latest success came in a matter in which, nearly three years ago, the largest competitor of K&C’s client Specialty Beverage Company, Inc. convinced the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) into taking away sales territory from Specialty Beverage. The competitor claimed it had suddenly “located” an original ten year old franchise designation in the Virginia ABC’s own files, naming it as the distributor for a particular brand of beer in the most lucrative sales territories in the state. In the intervening years, those territories had been assigned to Specialty Beverage. When the Virginia ABC unilaterally switched its website to list the competitor as the sole distributor for the territory, it caused Specialty Beverage a major business disruption. Mr. Shuford and Mr. Chmiel successfully persuaded the Virginia ABC to allow the two competing wholesalers and the brewery to participate in multilateral hearing to determine just who had been assigned this very significant sales territory. After several days of testimony, a Virginia ABC Hearing Panel awarded Specialty Beverage back its territory which was subsequently affirmed on appeal by the full Virginia ABC Board.

In recognition of Mr. Shuford’s experience and success in handling Virginia beer and wine franchise matters, Mr. Shuford also recently has been selected by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as one of only four non-agency participants to join a departmental focus group working on improving and automating the operations of the Department's Division of Tax Management, and its implementation of the laws and regulations set out in the Virginia Wine Franchise Act and the Virginia Beer Franchise Act. Mr. Shuford is a partner in Kaufman & Canoles’ Richmond office. His practice includes a focus on administrative matters before various state and federal agencies, and he currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Administrative Law Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Mr. Chmiel is an associate in Kaufman & Canoles’ Richmond office. His practice focuses on construction, insurance, financial services, franchise, title insurance, real estate and other types of commercial litigation.

The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2018.

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