Distribution

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Tydings understands the needs of wholesale distribution companies.  Having represented them for decades, we know that these local and national businesses play an integral part in the U.S. economy.  Manufacturers and customers alike depend on their services to keep commerce moving.  We counsel our clients on business transactions and advocate for them before governmental agencies as well as in court.  And through our membership in Meritas, we have immediate access to skilled attorneys in virtually any country or any state.

We represent distributors in a myriad of industries, including:  automotive, building materials, consumer goods, electronic products, food & beverage, motor fuel, and tobacco products.  We have substantial experience in designing distribution systems for state licensed and regulated products that must pass legal muster in all implicated states.

Protecting the Distributor

Tydings works closely with our distributor clients and advises them in a full range of matters distinctive to their industry.  Our attorneys practice in multiple disciplines that play a large role in keeping these businesses growing.  The attorneys in our antitrust, franchise and trade regulation practice have assisted our clients with such matters as:

  • antitrust and franchising issues, including price fixing, monopolization, price discrimination, commercial bribery, nonprice restraints, boycotts, and exclusive dealing;
  • claims of violation of various state sales-below-cost statutes;
  • challenges to various anticompetitive state statutes, including sales-below-cost statutes;
  • mazes of conflicting, overreaching, and often extraterritorial licensing statutes; and
  • claims involving the federal Petroleum Marketing Practices Act and similar state statutes.

Tydings has mounted a number of successful challenges to anticompetitive and unfair business regulations.  Acting on behalf of a large wholesaler to convenience stores, we stopped the Maryland Comptroller from enforcing a regulation regarding cigarette sales at below cost, and were instrumental in having a different regulation adopted.  For more information on our antitrust, franchise, and trade regulation law practice, visit Antitrust, Franchise, and Trade Regulation Law.

Litigation Challenges to Business Regulations

The attorneys in our government relations and administrative law practice have extensive experience in helping distributors with legislative and administrative matters.  We maintain an active practice before various state agencies and boards, as well as political subdivisions and local governmental entities.

Tydings is widely experienced in all aspects of governmental regulation and has represented businesses in complex regulatory issues involving federal, state, and local authorities.  Services include:

  • assisting clients in complying with existing laws and regulations in daily operations;
  • developing and implementing corporate compliance programs;
  • providing representation in adversary proceedings where necessary to protect clients' business interests; and
  • forcing Maryland taxing authorities to comply with Constitutional mandates.

For more information on our government relations practice, visit Government Relations and Administrative Law.

Representative Matters

  • Advocated for clients seeking assistance from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and local economic development agencies;
  • Advocated for various clients before the Governor’s Office and other state and local agencies and officials;
  • Advocated at legislative hearings before Committees of the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate as representative for clients’ positions on pending legislation;
  • Represent a dairy producer/distributor in general business matters, including labor negotiations and tax disputes;
  • Serve as outside counsel to a privately held food service distributor specializing in produce, meat, poultry, dairy, and seafood. Handled general corporate matters, including succession planning and employment counseling;
  • Represent a Fortune 500 bottler and distributor in various products liability and auto tort claims;
  • Successfully defended a retailer/distributor against claims brought by its former HR Director, including claims for vicarious liability, negligent hiring and supervision, gender discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • Litigation against state officials challenging validity of cigarette sales-below-cost regulations;
  • Litigation against state officials challenging their interpretation of cigarette licensing statutes;
  • Defended a major automobile manufacturer in a series of antitrust trials that challenged the manufacturer’s parts distribution practices; and
  • Represented plaintiffs in price-fixing cases related to the retail gasoline business.
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