Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC
Attorneys & Counselors at Law


Summer Edition

June 2012

In This Issue
Changes at MLCC
ORR - ARC Report
MRA Service Award

  Congratulations to

our Clients

 on their

License Transfers


Recent Openings



Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse






2 Booli




(Royal Oak)





Dollar General

(Multiple Locations)



(Shelby Township)


The Pubb Food & Spirits

(Grand Rapids)


Woodward Imperial



Rite Aid Discount Pharmacy #3312



Tavern 109



Hidden Valley Golf Course



Au Gres IGA

(Au Gres)


St. Joe Boathouse

(St. Joseph)


Freakin Unbelievable Burgers

(Flint Township)


Tini Bikinis



Pines Sports Bar






Upcoming Industry Events




Deadline to file application for MLBA Board of Directors

August 6, 2012




MLBA PAC Golf Outing

August 20, 2012

Mt. Pleasant Country Club




MLBA Fall Convention

Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2012

Mackinac Island

Join Our Mailing List

Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC


John B. Carlin, Jr.

 (248) 816-3210


Scott D. Edwards

 (248) 816-3205


Michael J. Brown

 (517) 321-4616


  Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC 2012.

  All rights reserved. 


This newsletter provides general information and does not constitute legal advice in any way. 

Changes Brewing at MLCC

Since the June 2011 appointment of Chairman Andy Deloney and Commissioner Teri Quimby to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission ("MLCC"), change has been in the forefront of the MLCC's agenda. Transformation in the form of streamlining the sometimes archaic licensing system, MLCC procedures and policies, statutory and rule changes continues to be a focal point of the MLCC. Some of the changes already made include: 

  • Revising license application forms
  • Requiring license and transfer fees be paid upfront prior to investigation
  • Requiring all spirits to be ordered through the on-line ordering system
  • Requiring local governing body approval upfront, when required by law, before MLCC will investigate an application for licensure
  • Eliminating local law enforcement agency recommendations for approval/denial on most liquor license applications, excepting those permits that statutorily require law enforcement approval
  • Rescind beer, wine and spirits label rules, thereby requiring labels to only meet federal labeling requirements as set by TTB
  • Rescind on-premises rest room rule, allowing local unit of government to regulate
  • Elimination of 1.85% off-premises specific spirit tax
  • Reorganizing and reforming License Division structure, policies and procedures
  • Eliminating requirement for submission of licensing agreements, service agreements, franchise agreements, and certain management agreements
  • Issuing certain Permits through 'consent docket' eliminating MLCC investigation

ORR - Liquor Control ARC Report

On June 29th, the Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention issued its final draft report of the Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee ("ARC"). We are pleased to report several of the recommendations made by Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC during the ARC process were included in the final draft recommendations. The ARC was created by the Office of Regulatory Reinvention ("ORR") in accordance with Governor Snyder's Executive Order 2011-5. The mission of the ORR is to ensure that Michigan's regulatory environment is simple, fair, efficient and conducive to business growth and job creation. We believe several of the recommendations coming out of the final draft report will help modernize operations at the Michigan Liquor Control Commission ("MLCC"), help streamline the licensing process, and make liquor-related regulations more "business friendly."


Some of the more notable recommendations made by the ARC contained in the final report issued June 29th include the following:

1. Increased use of electronic communication, primarily email, to speed up communication between the MLCC and licensees;

2. Separation of the Enforcement Division into two sections, including one focused solely on licensing investigations and applicant requests;

3. Allow for "conditionally approved" or "temporary" licenses for up to 180 days so applicants will not have to wait for their license before opening their bar or restaurant;

4. Eliminate the need for routine fingerprinting of all applicants for new licenses;

5. Eliminate background investigation on most "currently licensed" individuals unless their circumstances have changed;

6. Eliminate pre-licensing verification of finances by the Commission's Enforcement staff and instead conduct follow-up investigation as to the source of funds as needed;

7. Waive most investigations where minimal amounts of company stock or interest in the business are being transferred, particularly for family-owned businesses;

8. Allow for escrowed Class C licenses to transfer between adjacent counties upon payment of a $10,000 fee;

9. Amend several sections of the Michigan Liquor Control Code to require proof a licensee "knowingly allowed" certain conduct to occur before it could be deemed a violation;

10. Permit licensees to make alcohol sales on credit at the discretion of the licensee;

11. Relax the prohibition against advertising on "secondary use" items that have a brand logo such as shirts, glassware, napkins and other items used in the daily business of the licensee;

12. Increase the amount of liquor that on-premise licensees may buy from off-premise licensees by increasing the monthly cap of 9 liters currently allowed; and

13. Reduce the required inventory threshold for locations with adjacent gas pumps from $250,000 to $50,000.

Many of these proposed changes will require statutes to be enacted by the Michigan Legislature. Others will require Administrative Rule changes that must go through a lengthy and complicated public notice and comment period before they can be implemented. Some of these changes can be implemented by the MLCC without the need for either statutory or administrative rule amendments, and we believe the MLCC will actively pursue many of these proposed changes in the coming months. We will continue to update our clients as these changes make their way through the legislative and rule-making process, or as the MLCC adopts new procedures in accordance with many of these proposals.

Click here to see the complete recommendations.


MRA 2012 Distinguished Service Award 

The Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA),has recognized John B.Carlin, Jr. by awarding him its 2012 Distinguished Service Award (DSA).The DSA is the highest honor awarded by the MRA and proclaims the recipient's outstanding and continuing service to The Michigan Restaurant Association and the food service community as a whole.


John has been on the MRA Board of Directors since 2002 and has served on the nominations-and-bylaws, marketing, membership, and political action committees. He also served on the MLCC Task Force and the MRA Capital Campaign. In addition to being a strong ambassador for the industry and the MRA, he has been invaluable in identifying board service candidates and in MRA fund raising efforts.


Carlin has been a trusted advisor to both corporate and independent restaurateurs. Former MRA Board Chairman Dennis Brinker said, "I knew that I could pick up the phone and call John at any time. He would always take my call and discuss anything and everything with me."


Carlin, who is recognized as the leading hospitality attorney in the state of Michigan, has represented major multi-unit and independent food service operators in the state for over 38 years. Carlin Edwards Brown continues to represent both on and off-premise licensees as well as many resort, golf course,hotel,and motel operators.