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By Daniel Garner on March 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

As small local breweries continue growing in popularity throughout the nation, Congress is considering previously introduced legislation that would significantly reduce excise tax rates for small brewers. The Small Brew Act (H.R. 494, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr494) would amend Internal Revenue Code and reduce excise tax rates by 50% on the first 60,000 barrels for brewers producing under 6 million total barrels per year, from $7.00/barrel to only $3.50/barrel. After that, the excise tax would be a flat $16.00/barrel, up to a total of 2 million barrels.

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By Daniel Garner on January 11, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Franchisors often include a “no reliance” clause in their franchise agreements, in which the franchisees acknowledge that they have not relied on any information or representation not expressly stated within the franchise agreement itself. The intent of such clauses is to help protect against a claim based on alleged oral or written representations made outside of the franchise agreement. Although several federal courts have found that such “no reliance” clauses preclude franchisees from proving fraudulent misrepresentation cases, many state courts have been hesitant to bar fraud claims based on such clauses.

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By Daniel Garner on November 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

For the past year and a half, various lawsuits have alleged that daily deal coupons, such as those offered by Groupon and Living Social, violate Regulation E’s rules for gift cards because such coupons expire too quickly. Regulation E, found at 12 C.F.R. § 205, et seq., is the Treasury’s official regulations enforcing the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Responsibility Act of 2009. It requires the funds underlying all gift cards to remain valid for at least five years.

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By Daniel Garner on September 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM

As gift cards continue to rise in popularity among consumers, the regulations and laws that companies must follow in issuing and accepting them continue to increase as well. Beyond the extensive requirements of the new federal gift card law – Regulation E – one of the issues just starting to gain traction with state legislatures is the idea of requiring retailers to give customers “cash back” on a gift card once the balance falls below a particular level.

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