regulatory Business compliance

Just as California laws make it challenging for individuals to practice their professions, businesses are increasingly regulated as well.  In this landscape, I bring a former regulator’s view to the table along with a flexible approach in achieving results. When possible, I try to negotiate the best outcome possible to meet a client’s goals without having to undergo a costly and uncertain hearing.  When that’s not possible, I am fully prepared to competently argue the law and the facts to an administrative law judge.  In between disputes where clients must fight citations or threats of suspension or revocation, I advise clients on how to maintain regulatory compliance and act as a go-between with inspectors and other regulatory staff to keep the business up and running smoothly without interruption.       

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Sample representation:

  • Transferred San Francisco Tobacco Permit to eligible owner under Dept. of Public Health regulations. [San Francisco businesses are among the most highly regulated of any in the United States. A small family market, was in jeopardy of losing an inherited tobacco license due to recent regulatory changes. Machen Law established their baseline eligibility and aligned all related business permits, such as the business certification with the Treasurer and registration with the California Board of Equalization for the regulatory consistency the city requires. Theirs is now one of the rare shrinking number of retail stores allowed to sell tobacco products.]

  • Transferred a Type 21 Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) license between owners.      

  • Negotiated more than 50% reduction in proposed conditions on ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) license. [New ownership of a small financial district convenience store triggered the City to propose an avalanche of new liquor license restrictions. Machen Law negotiated a significant and livable reduction in restrictions, thus avoiding a costly appeal.]

  • Saved two separate clients more than $140,000 combined in regulatory fines by successfully arguing that the agency had misinterpreted the statute. [A local regulatory agency almost extinguished two small San Francisco businesses by slapping them with huge fines calculated on a ‘per day’ basis. Machen Law successfully argued that fines could only be assessed on a one-time basis rather than multiplying it by number of days in violation.]  

  • Obtained favorable settlement while acting as co-counsel for clients in litigation against a cemetery that failed to make available a pre-purchased plot when needed. [Although cemeteries are among the businesses that are highly regulated by state of California, sometimes filing of a civil action is required to obtain justice for consumers, which is what happened here. Following many months of litigation, we obtained a satisfactory mediated outcome that more than paid for their much more expensive replacement cemetery plots.]