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Dean’s Special Wine Law Seminar Sept. 23 and 25

Richard Mendelson will give a Dean’s Special Seminar on “Wine Law in America” Tuesday, Sept. 23, and Thursday, Sept. 25, at Yale Law School. The Tuesday talk is titled “A Focus on Constitutional Law” and will include a blind tasting of foreign, Cabernet-based wines. The Thursday talk is titled “Intellectual Property,” with a tasting and stylistic comparison of various Chardonnays. Both will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Room 120.

“The first class addresses the evolution of Twenty-First Amendment jurisprudence from the repeal of Prohibition to the current litigation over interstate wine shipping to consumers,” said Mendelson. “The second class deals with the interplay between wine brands (trademarks) and geographical indications (appellations of origin), conflicts with the European Union over semi-generic wine names like Champagne and Burgundy, and wine counterfeiting.”

Richard Mendelson is an attorney and managing partner at the law firm of Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty in Napa, California, where he specializes in alcoholic beverage law and land use planning for wineries and vineyards. He is a Lecturer and Senior Fellow at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, where he teaches classes on Wine Law and Geographical Indications. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Aix-Marseille and University of Bordeaux Law Schools, and he lectures on a variety of vineyard and wine law topics at the University of California at Davis Graduate School of Management and the Wine MBA program of the University of Bordeaux. His book, From Demon to Darling: A Legal history of Wine in America, will be published in June, 2009.

He earned his B.A. from Harvard College, his M.A. from Oxford University, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He received his general education about wines of the world at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in London. He resides in Napa, California, and owns a small vineyard, producing three wines under the Mendelson label.

Seating for the “Wine Law in America” seminar is limited. Please register in advance by contacting by Sept. 15.