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Robert Carrol is the leader of the firm’s Global Beverage Alcohol team and is a member of the Labor & Employment group. His employment clients include companies of all sizes, from Fortune 200 to Silicon Valley startups who manufacture and sell a wide-range of goods and services.

What do you focus on?

My Chambers-recognized practice has focused on two substantive areas of law for more than thirty years: Labor & Employment (primarily in the agriculture, manufacturing, food and beverage, optical and solid waste disposal sectors) and Beverage Alcohol (wine, craft beer and spirits producers, both domestic and international).

The services I routinely provide to clients in each of these substantive areas range from daily counseling regarding solutions to operational issues, to collective bargaining, arbitration and defense of complex litigation in the federal and state courts. I’ve handled wage-hour and other labor-related class actions, and I’ve regularly appeared before administrative agencies, such as the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and State of California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), Department of Fair Employment & Housing and Labor Commissioner.

Recent noteworthy results for clients in the agricultural and manufacturing sector include: the defense and ultimate dismissal of two large class actions filed in the U.S. District and CA Superior Courts where the plaintiffs sought $176,000,000 and $58,000,000 in unpaid wages/penalties, respectively; obtaining a statewide stay from the 5th District Court of Appeal of several cases filed by the California ALRB in both the Superior Court and before the ALRB itself; and the successful defense of various NLRB and CA ALRB unfair labor practice charges.  

What do you see on the horizon?

In the area of labor and employment law, I see a steady stream of new wage-hour and related labor class action filings as well as renewed zeal at both the federal NLRB and CA ALRB regarding the filing and prosecution of unfair labor practice charges.

In the beverage alcohol field, I see continuing interest from all three tiers – supplier, distributor and retailer – in consolidation and resultant transactional opportunities. I also expect to see increasing litigation regarding the rules issued by the federal TTB and state ABCs impacting a virtual explosion of social media marketing across the industry.

Media Clips

  • Wine: Vintners cautiously optimistic
    San Francisco Business Times | January 4, 2013

    San Francisco partner and member of the firm’s Beverage Alcohol team Rob Carrol provides commentary on the 2012 Bay Area wine industry and also discusses the future outlook.

  • Social Media Giveaways and the California Wine Industry
    Practical Winery & Vineyard Journal | September 22, 2012

    This article, authored by Beverage Alcohol team partners Bruce Copeland and Rob Carrol and associates Kate Hardy and Alison Torbitt, discusses the intersection of social media and the wine industry in California.



Robert K. Carrol