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Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law Hosts Annual Symposium 2023

On Friday, April 7, the Journal for Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law (JBEL) hosted their annual symposium, titled “The Developing Landscape of the Wine and Alcohol Industry.” In partnership with the Palmer Center, the event featured three distinct panels focusing on different areas of wine and alcohol law. In their first on-ground symposium since 2019, JBEL welcomed nine experts in the field to share their insights.

The day began with opening remarks from JBEL symposium editor Daniel Foster, and continued with three substantive panels throughout the day. The first panel focused on direct to consumer shipping, interstate shipping regulations, and the effects of the Supreme Court case Granholm v Heald.  The panel also paid tribute to the late Pepperdine Caruso Law dean Ken Starr, who was a key member of the Granholm litigation team. Chicago Law School professor and former Kirkland & Ellis partner Robert Gasaway led the panel, which featured the general counsel of The Wine Institute and former partner of Dean Starr at Kirkland & Ellis, Tracy Genesen; the head of state relations at The Wine Institute, Steve Gross; and the owner of Alpha Omega Winery, Robin Baggett. The legacy of Dean Starr was woven throughout the panel, which included stories from the moderator and panelists about Dean Starr and the lasting impact he had on wine industry shipping laws.

The second panel focused on the growing fourth tier of distribution for the wine and alcohol industry. Led by Caruso Law alumnus and owner of Simas Law, Brian Simas, the panel discussed the impact and regulations surrounding companies such as Drizzly, Instacart, and Thirstie. The panel featured Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty associate Michael Mercurio, and former Winc chief strategy officer and general counsel, Matt Thelen.

Finally, in the last panel of the day Caruso Law professor and Pepperdine University general counsel Marc Goodman moderated a panel discussing wine NFTs. The panel featured Caruso Law alumnus and owner of JTM Tech Law, Jacob Martin; Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty attorney Katja Loeffelholz; and again, Caruso Law alumnus Brian Simas.

JBEL extends its sincere gratitude to all those who made this year’s symposium possible.

A recording of the event can be found at JBEL Symposium 2023