CAWG Legal Services Program

The California Association of Winegrape Growers has negotiated a significant membership benefit with the law firm of Downey Brand, LLP, which also serves as counsel to the association.

Each CAWG regular grower member can call the offices of Downey Brand and receive one free thirty-minute consultation per calendar quarter: January 1 – March 30, April 1 – June 30, July 1 – September 30 and October 1 – December 31.

It’s easy to access your free consultation. Simply call (916) 444-1000 and tell the Downey Brand receptionist that you are a member of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and you want to use your free consultation under the CAWG legal services program. A Downey Brand attorney will strive to return your call within 24 hours.

A Downey Brand attorney will dedicate up to 30 minutes of his or her time to answer your question, but if your question is complicated or requires a more detailed response, then you will be advised as to the cost of any work that may be required in excess of your 30 minutes of free time. So, don’t worry, you won’t be charged anything for your call to Downey Brand, unless you’ve been provided an estimate of costs and you expressly agree that you want to pay for the additional time.

To get the most out of your free consultation, we have some helpful hints:
• Be prepared to state the name of the company or individual who is a member of CAWG.
• Organize your thoughts and be clear what is the specific legal concern or issue that you want addressed. Be succinct. Before you call, you may want to ask someone in your office whether your question is clear and understandable.

• If you have several questions, then ask them in the order of greatest priority.

Downey Brand is Sacramento’s largest law firm and they represent a wide array of businesses and individuals. If your question involves a complaint or concern with another company or individual, then it’s possible that company or individual with whom you have a potential dispute is a Downey Brand client, in which case a conflict of interest would exist and the firm would be unable to answer your question.

To avoid potential conflict of interest problems, you may want to ask your question in a more general way, without specifically naming a party. For example, if you have a contract dispute with a specific winery, then try to ask your question in a more general manner, without specifically naming the winery.

In the event your question specifically involves a third party, then Downey Brand will need to run a quick check to ensure no conflict of interest exists in addressing your question.  It will take a couple of hours for the conflict check to be completed, and the Downey Brand attorney will call back after the check is finished.

So, what kinds of issues is Downey Brand prepared to address through CAWG’s Legal Services Program?
Downey Brand has an extensive food and agriculture practice, with offices in Sacramento, Stockton, San Francisco and Reno, Nevada. Downey Brand has assigned four of its attorneys, including CAWG’s legal counsel Dale Stern, from varying practice groups to field all incoming calls. If none of these attorneys can answer your question, they will turn to another twenty attorneys on staff to develop an answer
.

Downey Brand is prepared to address the following issues through our Legal Services Program:

Corporate/Transactional Law
• grape sales and purchase contracts
• custom crush agreements
formation and structuring of entities
 general business contracts
• equipment leasing
• crop insurance
financing

Real Estate Law
• purchase and sale agreements
• leasing

Environmental Law
• water quality
• water discharge requirements
• soil and groundwater cleanup
• air quality
• pesticide and fertilizer regulations
• environmental compliance


Administrative and Regulatory Law
• government and regulatory matters
• DPR and CDFA licensing and enforcement matters
• food safety and labeling

Land Use Law
• zoning
• conservation easements
• permitting
• mitigation banks
• Williamson Act
• Endangered Species Act


Water Law
• water rights and supply
• groundwater pumping and basin adjudication
• surface and groundwater management
• drainage
• flood insurance

It’s easy to access your free consultation. Simply call (916) 444-1000 and tell the Downey Brand receptionist that you are a member of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and you want to use your free consultation under the CAWG legal services program. A Downey Brand attorney will strive to return your call within 24 hours.