April 2018
In this issue...
  • Upcoming Industry Events
  • Articles:
    - Employer Alert: New Assessments from Department of Unemployment Assistance
    - Alcohol Licensing & Industry Updates 
    - Trademarks: Same Name, Different Place
  • Eat Your Words Charity Tasting Event Recap
  • Marketing Corner
  • Industry Trends
  • Client News
  • Events & Participations

Employer Alert: New Assessments from Department of Unemployment Assistance

If your company has more than five employees with health insurance from Masshealth or Connect Care, you should be aware of new assesments levied by the state.
Last week, many employers received a new bill from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”), which implemented the first assessments under the supplemental employer medical assistance contribution program (“EMAC”).  The DUA levied these assessments against employers with employees who are enrolled in the state sponsored MassHealth or ConnectorCare heath insurance programs. EMAC supplemental assessments are intended to be a temporary offset to the growing cost of these programs until longer-term reform measures can be put into place.  Under the authorizing statute, the assessments will gradually phase out over the next two years. 
Full Article
Dave Robinson is an attorney in RIW’s Employment and Litigation Practice Groups. He can be reached at dwr@riw.com, 617-570-3562, or on Twitter at @DWRobinsonesq.

Alcohol Licensing: Legal Updates and Insights 

There have been several recent developments in the alcoholic beverages industry which affect regulatory oversight, restaurant operations, new liquor licenses, and more. Here is a rundown of the latest developments. 

Budget Increase Requested for the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg requested a $3.69MM budget for fiscal 2019, an increase from $2.44MM in 2018, to cover operational shortfalls in the agency’s budget. Staffing at the ABCC has failed to keep up with a steady increase in licensed establishments in the state (800 licenses are now assigned to each ABCC investigator, compared to a 261:1 ratio elsewhere in the country).  An increase in funding could help expedite the state licensing process, which has dragged in recent years due, in part, to investigator caseloads. Source: “Mass. Alcohol Inspectors Carry Big Licensee Caseloads,” WWLP.com (Feb. 7, 2018)
Full Article
Adam Barnosky is an attorney in RIW’s Hospitality & Retail ServicesCommercial Real Estate, and Corporate & Business Practice Groups. Adam can be reached at arb@riw.com, (617) 570-3519, or on Twitter at @adambarnosky.

Same Name, Different Place
Avoiding trademark p
roblems & adding value to your business

Whether you are starting up a business, expanding, or just progressing with your current business, taking care of your brand is vitally important. Your trademark represents your identity with consumers, the goodwill of your business, and is a valuable asset in your company portfolio. There are a few strategies to consider which can help you avoid or at least reduce the impact of any trademark problems. In addition, these same strategies could add value to your brand, which will be useful in the event of expansion, investment, financing, franchising, or a sale of your business.
Full Article
Stacey C. Friends is an attorney in RIW’s Trademark, and Hospitality & Retail Services Groups. Stacey can be reached at sfriends@riw.com, (617) 570-3578, or on Twitter at @sfriends.

Eat Your Words Tasting Event Recap

Ruberto, Israel & Weiner and The Boston Restaurant Group were proud presenters of the Eat Your Words Tasting Event to benefit 826 Boston on March 26th at Ned Devine's and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston. 
More than 400 guests joined together at Ned Devine’s for a new twist on the annual Restaurant Trends Seminar. The year’s event was a tasting event to benefit 826 Boston, a nonprofit youth writing and publishing organization . The event featured 20 local restaurants. Sponsors included: venue, Ned Devine’s and Faneuil Hall Marketplace; media, Boston Magazine, WBUR, and Let’s Talk About Food/EdibleBoston. The event also received sponsorships from Cambridge Savings Bank, USI Insurance, BlumShapiro, Cafco Construction, Eastern Bank, LOOP (a product of KMM), Marlo Marketing, MS Walker, and RSM. Event coordination by AE Events.
Left to right; Howie Altholtz (Ruberto, Israel & Weiner) with Ginny Awbery, Carlos Flores and Maddy Altholtz (Brown Advisory), and Mike Duffy (Ruberto, Israel & Weiner)
Left; Volunteers from 826 Boston
Right; Russ Stein (Ruberto, Israel & Weiner), Rebecca Stein, and guests
Photos by: Gretjen Helene

Marketing Corner

Let There Be Light

Soft lighting sets a nice mood in a quality establishment… but oftentimes it makes for difficult menu reading.

I find myself pulling out my cell phone light more and more (when I can figure out how to find and work it). Restaurants can help by paying attention to menu font and type size… to be readable even in dull light, and by having a portable light available to guests on request.

RIW Client News

Congratulations to the following RIW clients and friends who received awards at the Annual Massachusetts Restaurant Association Awards Dinner:

Richard Vellante, Legal Sea Foods

Wahlburgers, Paul Wahlberg & Team

Kathy Sidell, Met Restaurant Group
Congratulations to RIW client New England Ice Cream on their award for the best large booth at the MRA New England Food Show.
Congratulations to RIW clients The Briar Group on the opening of Hurricane's at the Garden on Canal St. in Boston.
Congratulations to RIW client Kristin Canty on the opening of Adelita’s in Concord. Full story.
Congratulations to RIW client John and Laura Wolfe on the upcoming opening of their new restaurant Door No. 7 in Wellesley. Full story.

RIW Events and Participation

Click here to request more information, or copies of any event presentation materials. 

The Annual MRA Awards Dinner took place on Monday, February 26 at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center. In attendance from RIW was Chris Agostino, Adam Barnosky, Kelly Caralis, John Cohan, Bethany Grazio, Lou Katz, and Russ Stein.
RIW was a proud sponsor of the Consumer Products Industry Outlook Forum hosted by RMS which took place on Thursday, February 1st in Boston. 
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2018 Pinnacle Awards took place on Friday, January 26th at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston. RIW attendees included John Cohan, Bethany Grazio, Stacey Friends, and Russ Stein.
Congratulations to RIWs Dave Robinson on receiving this plaque in honor of his service to the Weymouth Chamber of Commerce during his time serving as Chair of the board. Pictured left to right; Dennis Keohane, current Chair, Weymouth Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Robinson. 

Stay Connected

Attorneys in RIW’s Hospitality and Retail Services Group have provided legal services to industry clients for over 30 years. Our attorneys organize seminars, lecture, write articles, participate in trade associations, and serve on Boards of Advisors for retail, food and hospitality industry companies.

For a full description of our Hospitality and Retail Services Group, including a list of representative clients, click here.

Hospitality & Retail Services
Industry Group Attorneys

Adam Barnosky, Liquor Licensing, Zoning, and Permitting
Kelly Caralis, Mergers & Acquisitions and Leasing

Bradley Croft, Construction Law

Michael J. Duffy, Litigation

Stacey Friends, Trademark and Branding

Bethany Grazio, Mergers & Acquisitions and Financing

Louis Katz, Hospitality & Retail Services Group Chair
Mergers & Acquisitions and Leasing

David Robinson, Litigation, Employment

Michael D. Rosen, Commercial Real Estate; Zoning; Land Use; Leasing & Financing and Green Initiatives

Catherine Barton Rossetti, Trusts & Estates

Russell Stein, Mergers & Acquisitions and Leasing


Click here for past articles on a range of issues including: Finance; Leasing; Liquor Licensing; Data Security; Succession & Estate Planning; Disputes; Construction; Employment Law; and Trademark/Branding.

Published by Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.

Adam Barnosky , Esq., Editor.
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