Jeremy Little, a partner with the Santa Rosa, Calif., law firm of Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross LLP, has heard all the lawyer jokes. But, he says, the fact they don’t apply to his firm is one of the reasons it’s been so well regarded for so long among California’s wine, spirits, and beer producers.
“Even though the area has grown in size, it’s still a pretty tight community,” says Little, who practices in the firm’s Food and Alcoholic Beverage Group. “We would have been out of business decades ago if we were only concerned with running up fees, worrying about billable hours. That is why we are focused on our clients’ business and doing the best for them. When they call us, they know we will give them a great, quick resolution.”
CMPR has had that kind of relationship with its clients since it was founded in 1998 by Bill Carle, John Mackie, Richard Power, and Dawn Ross. Not coincidentally, the extended Carle and Mackie families are in the wine business. It has also helped them to establish an alcoholic beverage group that can handle most facets of business, including startup companies and those backed by venture capital/equity groups, trademark and intellectual property matters, and regulatory issues.
This approach has helped the firm extend its alcoholic beverage clients to include beer and spirits producers as they became more important in northern California.
“When you’re doing business, you have to watch and see how things transform and evolve,” says Little. “ That natural evolution becomes part of your business.”