Marc E. Sorini

Biography

Marc E. Sorini is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Washington, D.C. office.  He heads the Firm’s Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group, where he focuses on regulatory and litigation issues facing the alcohol beverage industry and non-beverage alcohol users.

 

Marc's alcohol beverage practice covers licensing, labeling, advertising, trade practices, distribution, import-export, formulation and excise taxation.  He has represented alcohol beverage suppliers before federal and state courts, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB), (formerly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms or ATF), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state alcohol beverage control agencies, and he advises clients on compliance with the regulations and policies of TTB, FTC, the Food & Drug Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  Chambers USA ranks McDermott’s Alcohol Practice in its first tier and Marc is the only lawyer listed as a “Star Individual” in this field.

 

Marc also advises companies in the flavor and extract, health care supply and other industries on federal and state regulation of non-beverage alcohol.  Recent work includes assisting a national health care supplier establish itself in the business of selling and distributing ethyl alcohol, advising a flavor manufacturer in products liability litigation and obtaining  a successful resolution in a TTB investigation into the handling and documentation of non-beverage alcohol.

 

Marc gives numerous speeches on legal subjects of interest to the alcohol beverage industry.   He is a regular at CLE International's Wine, Beer & Spirits Law Conference, the Brewers' Association Conference and Tradeshow, and has addressed the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, the American Conference Institute, the American Distilling Institute, Americans for Tax Reform and the Rocky Mountain Microbrewers Symposium.  Subjects of Marc's public appearances include the future of the three-tier system, federal labeling regulations, managing wholesaler relationships, drafting distribution agreements, franchise law reform, the impact of alcohol beverage trade practice laws on electronic commerce, and legal constraints on new product development.

 

Marc's writings on legal issues affecting the industry have appeared in American Distiller, Modern Brewery Age, The New Brewer, the ABA Administrative Law Section's newsletter on beverage alcohol practice, and other publications.  In 2003 the Washington Legal Foundation published his paper (co-authored with Cary Green) on the First Amendment implications of compelled industry “counter advertising,” and in 1998 the Washington Legal Foundation published his background paper on European restrictions on alcohol beverage advertising.

 

Marc was awarded the Edward Tamm Award for Georgetown's best student note and was an editor for The Georgetown Law Journal.   After law school, Marc clerked for the Honorable Susan H. Black of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

 

Marc is admitted to practice in Georgia, the District of Columbia, the United States District Courts for Colorado and the District of Columbia, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 11th Circuits.

 

Representative Experience

  • Labeling and Advertising - Experience includes carbohydrate claims, the use of spirits brand names on malt beverages, charges of geographic misdescription, organic beer and wine, allegations of youth marketing and natural claims on alcohol beverage labels
  • Trade Practices - Represents and counsels clients on issues involving tied-house restrictions, cooperative advertising, sponsorships, branded bars, multiple suppliers employing a joint sales force, vertical integration, alleged discrimination between licensees, coupon and rebate programs, and numerous other activities
  • Distribution - Representations include issues such as suppliers' rights during a change in wholesaler ownership and successor importers, the distribution obligations of brand purchasers, existing wholesalers' rights in new products and brand extensions and liability arising from failed negotiations with a prospective wholesaler; also advises clients on the intersection between alcohol beverage law and electronic commerce
  • Import-Export - Experience encompasses both traditional import and import services arrangements, CBP requirements for imported products, the documentation of alcohol beverages exported without payment of excise taxes and charges involving alleged schemes to avoid foreign taxes
  • Formulation - Advises clients on TTB-required formulas and pre-import analyses, the formulation of flavored malt beverages, the use of new and novel ingredients in the production of alcohol beverages and the 5010 tax credit for distilled spirits

 

Education

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1994

Lehigh University, B.A., 1988

1 Course by Marc E. Sorini