Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson

Susan M. Johnson was selected by Chambers USA for 2014 to the present as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Nationwide) in the Food & Beverages: Alcohol practice area. Susan, a partner in our Seattle office, counsels beer, wine and spirits producers; retail store, restaurant and hotel chains; sports and entertainment facilities; cruise ship lines; and contract food service management companies on liquor licensing, sales, distribution, advertising, administrative violation defense and regulatory matters related to corporate ownership and governance. She works directly with industry associations, in-house counsel and other law firms on complex transactions, litigation consultation and legislative initiatives involving alcoholic beverage issues. Susan is co-chair of the Stoel Rives Food, Beverage & Hospitality group.

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2017 Changes to Washington Liquor Laws Affecting Producers and Distributors

This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Alex Pearson. With the Washington State Legislature’s third special session at a close, now is a good time for alcoholic beverage producers and distributors to take a moment to look at five bills that passed the Legislature and were signed into law by Governor Inslee this … Continue Reading

2017 Changes to Oregon Liquor Laws

This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Antonija Krizanac. Since the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session convened on February 1, 2017, the Legislature has introduced a variety of bills that impact the Oregon alcohol and beverage industry. Out of the countless proposed bills, five have already been signed by the Governor and will go … Continue Reading

2017 Changes to Washington Liquor Laws Affecting Retailers

This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Emma Vignali. On July 23, 2017, numerous Bills will go into effect that will meaningfully impact alcohol and beverage retailers across Washington. Governor Jay Inslee will sign four bills that will create opportunities for alcohol retailers and simplify the licensing process for current and future licensees. … Continue Reading

Alcoholic Beverages Law Blog Launches New Responsive Design and Enhanced Reader Features

Dear Alcoholic Beverages Law Blog readers. We first launched this blog in 2010 to help us keep you informed about major alcoholic beverages law news and – in particular – how these developments could impact your business. While our commitment to keep you informed hasn’t changed, technology certainly has. More than four years ago, we … Continue Reading

TTB Will Consider Penalty Waivers for Late Payment of Excise Taxes By Businesses Impacted by Northern California Earthquake

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued a notice yesterday stating that it will consider waiving – on a case-by-case basis – late filing, payment or deposit penalties for taxpayers unable to file payment of Federal excise taxes due to the August 24, 2014, Northern California earthquake. Text of the statement follows … Continue Reading

Dinner and a Movie for the Whole Family!

Movie theaters with restaurant-style food service will reach a broader audience with the recent signing into law of a bill passed by the Washington State Legislature allowing service of food and alcoholic beverages to their patrons. The law as currently written allows some service of alcohol in movie theaters, but requires exclusion of minors from the … Continue Reading

Rick Garza to Lead Washington State Liquor Control Board

Stoel Rives LLP offers its congratulations to Rick Garza on his appointment as Director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Today the agency issued a press release announcing the appointment will be effective June 1, 2013.   Garza will be assuming leadership in a time of unprecedented change – the agency is on the tail end … Continue Reading

Sales Limit Increase Could Give Washington State Craft Distilleries More Momentum in the Retail Market

This week, a bill passed the Washington legislature that will allow a craft distillery to sell more of its product to customers visiting its distillery. House Bill 1149 has been sent to Governor Inslee to sign in to law, amending RCW 66.24.145 to allow a craft distillery to sell a maximum of three liters of spirits … Continue Reading

Washington Wine, Beer & Distilleries Law Seminar – March 15, 2012

Please join us for our inaugural Washington Winery, Brewery & Distillery law seminar at the Columbia Winery in Woodinville, Washington on Thursday, March 15. Panels to include these hot topics, plus much more: Privatization/I-1183 Trademarks Employment Laws Tasting Room Operations Taxes For more information and registration visit: http://www.stoel.com/showevent.aspx?Show=9199… Continue Reading

Cowlitz County Superior Court Denies Motion For Preliminary Injunction Against I-1183

Defenders of I-1183 received a holiday gift last week from the Cowlitz County Superior Court. On Thursday, December 22, 2011, the Court issued two important rulings in the declaratory judgment action challenging the constitutionality of I-1183. First, the Court granted the motion to intervene brought a group of supports of I-1183 led by Costco and … Continue Reading

I-1183 Faces Legal Challenges

Despite Washington voters’ approval of I-1183 in the November 2011 election, the effort to privatize the wholesale distribution and retail sale of liquor in Washington faces another hurdle.  Last week, two lawsuits were filed in Washington courts challenging the validity of I-1183.   The plaintiffs in both cases contend that the newly enacted law violates the … Continue Reading

Dueling Liquor Privatization Initiatives in Washington State: What do the Initiatives Say and Who are the Players?

Word is out that enough signatures have likely been gathered to ensure that an initiative backed by Costco will make it on the on the ballot in Washington State in November. The Costco backed initiative would transition sales of spirits in Washington State from state operated liquor stores to private retail stores and allow manufacturer to … Continue Reading
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