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ABRA investigation interference: Is the cover-up worse than the crime?

ABRA investigation interference: Is the cover-up worse than the crime?

Hospitality
The cover-up is always worse than the crime. Isn’t it? You always hear that, but is it accurate in D.C. liquor license matters? The limited number of cases that address investigation interference suggest that it isn’t.
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Alcohol sale to minor violations: “Fu*k you, pay me.”

Alcohol sale to minor violations: “Fu*k you, pay me.”

Hospitality
It simply does not matter how proactive you have been in your liquor store or bar. If a minor is served, you are liable. It is what lawyers call “strict liability.” That means, all the Government has to prove is that a person under the age of 21 was served alcohol in your establishment. It doesn’t matter how or why. The fact that the service occurred is enough to result in a sale to minor violation.
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New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

Legislation Real Estate
In the midst of the oversight season, the Council pressed forward with its legislative agenda. On March 6, 2018, they passed a somewhat controversial TOPA Amendment, exempting owner-occupied single family homes.
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Liquor License Protest Process in DC

Liquor License Protest Process in DC

Hospitality
If you are applying for, renewing, or changing a liquor license, the public gets a say. Even if you have never been through the liquor license protest process before, you have no doubt noticed those obtrusive red or green placards hung in the window, announcing the application.
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Our Legal Blog


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Are You Breaking The Law By Selling Cups?

Are You Breaking The Law By Selling Cups?

Cases Hospitality
Yes, cups, innocuous plastic, Styrofoam, paper cups. If you are licensed to sell or serve alcohol, it is illegal for you to sell for a nominal charge or give away cups to your customers to consume alcohol off premises. To use the statutory language, it is a violation for an establishment to provide a customer “go-cups” which D.C. Code §25-101 defines as a “drinking utensil” at “no charge or a nominal charge” for the purpose of “consuming an alcoholic beverage off the premises.”
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No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

Legislation Real Estate
The local media, government officials (usually when seeking re-election), housing advocates and the legal services community throw around the amorphous term “slumlord” to describe a landlord that treats tenants badly by failing or refusing to make needed repairs to a rental unit. The point at which a landlord crosses over into ‘slumlord’ territory was anybody’s guess, until now. On November 7 the D.C. Council has proposed an official definition of “slumlord.” (in a sense). The “Slumlord Deterrence Amendment Act of 2017” imposes harsh sanctions on people that own an interest in a rental property which amasses more than five (5)...
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What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

Legislation Real Estate
On November 7, 2017, Council members Bonds and Nadeau introduced legislation to limit the rent that a landlord may charge for a unit after termination of a Federal or District subsidy. The Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Act of 2017 essentially provides, that upon termination of a tenant subsidy, a landlord may only charge a tenant the rent charged for that unit prior to the subsidy, plus, an increase of “general applicability” for each year that the subsidy based exemption was in place.
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D.C. Office & Commission on Nightlife

D.C. Office & Commission on Nightlife

Hospitality
The City Council introduced legislation enabling the creation of the Office & Commission on Nightlife(B-22-508). I put the link to the proposed legislation right upfront this time because I realize that what follows might be described as a light rant about how a Commission on Nightlife would not be necessary to advise the Mayor, if the Mayor actually appointed industry representatives to the ABC Board that regulates much of the dusk til’ dawn economy.
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Dining with Dogs

Dining with Dogs

Hospitality Legislation Real Estate
It is now legal for restaurant owners to allow patrons to bring pets into the outdoor seating areas provided certain conditions are met. Personally, I had no idea that allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas of restaurants was illegal. I have seen this, for years, all over the city, and frankly, thought nothing of it. I have never come across or even heard of an establishment receiving a violation for allowing dogs in outdoor areas. Apparently, during the summer months, the Department of Heath, cracked down on such conduct, issuing a slew of enforcement notices to restaurants with outdoor seating.
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