About Brian

Litigating alcohol beverage, commercial, appellate and class actions

An experienced litigator, Brian Howie brings deep knowledge of the industries in which his clients operate to the advice and representation he provides. He focuses his practice on:

  • Alcohol beverage law, including regulatory compliance, supplier-distributor issues, legislative activity at the state and federal level, and dispute resolution.
  • Complex commercial litigation, including trade channel and distributor/dealer litigation and class actions.
  • Appellate litigation

Tailoring both litigation prevention and litigation strategies to the operational realities and specific business needs of his clients, Brian has represented clients in the alcohol beverage, direct sales, oil and gas, and financial services industries in state and federal courts nationwide.

Experience in Action

  • Serving as national alcohol beverage law counsel to the second largest brewer in the United States, advising on a range of state and federal regulatory issues including licensing, trade practices, beverage labeling and promotional activity, as well as representing the company in administrative law proceedings in multiple states and in litigation.
  • Defending direct sales companies and individual distributors from allegations of fraud and in RICO and securities class actions, in disputes with dealers and other conflicts.
  • Handling appellate actions in the Arizona Court of Appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.

Successes

  • Represented major brewer in federal court litigation in which distributor sought to invalidate the change-in-control provisions of the distributor agreement. Defeated distributor’s request for preliminary injunction, and the case later resolved.
  • Represented 20 top distributors of large, publicly traded direct sales company in RICO and state law class action. Successfully argued motion to dismiss.
  • Successful defense of direct sales company in class action alleging RICO violations and securities fraud.
  • Successful defense of major petroleum refiner in price discrimination case brought by fuel distributor. Obtained summary judgment on Robinson-Patman Act, contract and tort claims.
  • Successful defense of a large financial institution in a complex real estate litigation matter.
  • Represented major petroleum refiner against Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA), antitrust and state franchise law claims brought by terminated service station dealers.

Professional Recognitions

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2021, 2022, 2023, Commercial Litigation)
  • Selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers® 2016-2017 (Business Litigation)

News & Insights

Education

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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