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Barry Strike, Partner

Barry has specialized in alcohol beverage law since 2001. He represents wineries, distillers, breweries, importers, and a wide variety of retailers—including restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, and off-sale retailers. Barry has drafted and negotiated every kind of industry agreement under the sun for both suppliers and retailers. He has unique expertise in labeling and trademark registrations and has registered hundreds of trademarks for beverage clients. Barry particularly enjoys helping clients navigate the tricky world of alcohol trade practices and devising compliant approaches to marketing and advertising alcohol, including structuring consumer events, contests and sweepstakes.

Prior to specializing in alcohol beverage law, Barry practiced civil litigation, representing clients in a variety of contract and intellectual property matters. Barry draws on his litigation experience in his representation of clients in administrative actions brought by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

Barry is admitted to practice in the State of California.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:

Hinman & Carmichael, LLP: Partner, Alcoholic Beverage Law and Trademark Law

Sideman & Bancroft; Associate Attorney, Civil Litigation and Trademark Law

B.A., James Madison University, 1984

J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 1995, Highest Honors, Member, Golden Gate University Law Review

RECOGNITIONS:

International Wine Law Association (AIDV), Board of Directors, U.S. Chapter

Speaking Engagements:

“Recent Alcoholic Beverage Litigation in the U.S. – Consumer Protection?” International Wine Law Association Annual Conference, October 2015

“Trademarks in the Wine Industry,” Intellectual Property Section, American Bar Association Annual Conference, April 2015

“What Governmental Organizations and Regulators Can Assist Players in the Wine Sector?”, International Wine Law Association, October 2013

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Tom Kerr, Partner

Tom Kerr’s practice focuses on nationwide regulatory advice and counseling across all areas of the alcoholic beverage industry. He advises supplier and retailer clients on trade practice issues, licensing, distribution, promotions, advertising, marketing, events, acquisitions, and tied-house issues. Tom also specializes in advising third party providers and traditional industry members on alcohol ecommerce issues, including on interstate direct shipping, retail delivery, subscription models, and other emerging industry practices.

Before joining the firm in 2011, Tom practiced commercial litigation at Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. There, he represented clients in a wide variety of practice areas, including intellectual property, antitrust, real estate, and general business litigation. Tom also got his first taste for the alcoholic beverage industry while at Holme Roberts & Owen, counseling spirits industry clients on promotional and trade practice issues.

When not consumed by alcohol beverage statutes and regulations, Tom loves exploring the outdoors of Northern California, listening to live music and cheering on all of his hometown Denver Colorado sports teams. He is also an avid traveler - ask him about his year-long adventure to South America, India, and Southeast Asia!

Tom is admitted to practice in the State of California.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:

Holme Roberts & Owen LLP: Associate Attorney
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 2005
B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000, Summa Cum Laude

RECOGNITIONS:

Northern California Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Speaking Engagements:

“Wine Labeling and Advertising”, guest lecturer for Wine Law class at University of California Davis School of Law, Spring 2015

“Beyond Winery Direct Shipping: Emerging Issues in Direct Shipping and Alcoholic Beverage eCommerce,” presenter for ShipCompliant DIRECT conference, June 2016

“Creative Licensing Solutions,” panelist for National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals Annual Conference, October 2018

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Melani Johns, Partner

Melani oversees alcoholic beverage licensing matters at the firm. She regularly advises clients on state and federal licensing options, direct shipping, distribution models, special events, trade practice and tied-house compliance. She advises clients on national licensing issues arising from corporate restructures and is often brought in as specialized outside counsel to navigate regulatory issues and draft contracts related to alcohol industry mergers and acquisitions. She also represents clients in license protest proceedings and appeals.

Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Melani was a founding partner of a specialty law firm that focused on providing legal services to restaurants, bars, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. She counseled clients on a diverse range of topics including entity formation, state and federal alcoholic beverage licensing, employment and business litigation, and commercial real estate transactions.

Melani was raised in Seattle but has been a proud Californian since 2000. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she studied viticulture and enology and worked in several of San Francisco’s best restaurants. At Strike Kerr & Johns, she finally gets to combine her love of wine and the hospitality industry with the law. Melani is admitted to practice in the State of California.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:

Bonnheim & Johns, Founding Partner
J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 2011, Editor-in-Chief, Golden Gate University Law Review
B.A., San Francisco State University, 2007, Cum Laude

Speaking Engagements:

“Ethics in the Age of #MeToo,” National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, Pasadena, CA, October 2018

“Overview of ABC License Types and Privileges,” Women Wine Lawyers Summer CLE, Napa, CA, August 2018

“Retailer Role in Tied House and Trade Practice Matters,” National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals Annual Conference, October 2017.

“Key Legal Issues When Representing Bars and Restaurants,” Attorney Action Club, September 2014

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Roger Clayton, Associate

Roger Clayton assists clients with trade practice issues, marketing promotions, tied-house compliance, third-party alcohol delivery, state and federal licensing, and license protest proceedings. Roger also represents clients in administrative actions, and conducts alcohol regulatory due diligence for corporate restructures, mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining the firm in 2019, Roger was a practicing litigator in an international law firm. He has also served as counsel to many different types of businesses, including winemakers.

When not practicing law, Roger enjoys home renovation projects, basketball, rock climbing, and spending time outside with his wife and his dog, Smee.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:

Clyde & Co US, LLP: Associate Attorney

Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, LLP: Associate Attorney

J.D., California Western School of Law, 2014

B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011

RECOGNITIONS:

Northern California Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Full Tuition Scholarship Recipient

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Jennifer Campbell, Senior Paralegal

Jennifer Campbell is a seasoned paralegal specializing in alcoholic beverage law. She is a licensing specialist who has prepared and filed applications for all types of alcoholic beverage licenses, including retail licenses, manufacturing licenses, wholesale licenses, direct shipper permits, certificates of compliance and many more. She has worked with the alcoholic beverage licensing authorities in all 50 states, and is particularly familiar with the federal licensing authority (TTB) and the 80+ license types offered by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Nationally, Jennifer has handled complex multi-state licensing projects, export clearance and license expediting. She also enjoys working with new clients on entity formation, trademark protection and the basic licensing needed to start an alcoholic beverage business.

Jennifer became hip to the Santa Rita and Santa Barbara wine scenes in college, where she cultivated a fondness for Pinot Noir. A few years later, the film Sideways was released, validating her excellent taste.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:

California Notary Public
Hinman & Carmichael, LLP: Paralegal, Alcoholic Beverage Law
Immigration Specialist, Jackson & Hertogs
B.A., University of California at Santa Barbara, 1997
M.A., San Francisco State University, 2000, with Honors

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Linda Gago-Seco, Senior Paralegal

Linda’s journey in alcoholic beverage licensing started in 1993 when she was employed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in the Oakland District Office. After six years with the ABC, Linda spent the subsequent 14 years as a licensing specialist working for alcoholic beverage law firms in San Francisco. Linda specializes in preparing and filing applications for retail and non-retail alcoholic beverage businesses and working with alcoholic beverage regulators in numerous states. She enjoys working with complex multi-tiered entity licensing projects and working with new clients starting new businesses. Particularly important to Linda are the friendships she has made with various retailers and regulators in the alcoholic beverage business community through the years. In Linda’s spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, cooking and sipping Portuguese wine.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:

California Notary Public

Hinman & Carmichael, LLP: Paralegal, Alcoholic Beverage Law