About Susan

Susan Johnson is a partner of the firm and focuses her practice on issues facing the food, beverage and hospitality industries. She counsels beer, wine and spirits producers; retail store, restaurant and hotel chains; sports and entertainment facilities; cruise ship lines; and contract food service management companies on liquor licensing, sales, distribution, advertising, administrative violation defense and regulatory matters related to changes in corporate ownership and governance. Susan counsels clients on the impacts of the Washington liquor privatization initiative and has been closely monitoring, and covering at the Alcoholic Beverages Law Blog, the potential privatization efforts in Oregon, Idaho and Utah.

With broad experience in business counseling, litigation and alcoholic beverage regulation, Susan works directly with industry associations, in-house counsel and other law firms on complex transactions, litigation consultation and legislative initiatives involving alcoholic beverage issues.

Susan also coordinates the full range of legal services for her hospitality and beverage industry clients including real estate, franchise, publicly traded company compliance, litigation, trademark registration and protection, employment counseling, financing and transactional representation for expansions, acquisition and divestitures.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Susan managed Graham & Dunn's Food and Beverage practice. 

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Honors & Activities

  • Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Nationwide) by Chambers USA (currently: Food & Beverages: Alcohol), 2014-2019
  • Member of the Year Award, Washington State Hotel & Lodging Association, 2007
  • Director, Washington Wine Industry Foundation
  • Associate member, National Conference of State Liquor Administrators
  • Associate member, National Association of Alcohol Beverage Administrators
  • Associate member, Washington Restaurant Association
  • Associate member, Washington Brewers Guild
  • Allied member, Washington State Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Allied member, Brewers Association
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, King County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association 
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Program Co-Chair, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries: Practical Issues in the Alcohol Industry, The Seminar Group, Seattle, Washington, 2014
  • Program Co-Chair, I-502 Impacts on Business and Real Estate Transactions, Law Seminars International, Seattle, Washington, 2013
  • Chair, Washington Wine, Beer and Distillers Law Seminar, Stoel Rives LLP, Woodinville, Washington, 2012
  • Speaker, "Legal issues: Contracts, PACA, Processor Liens and More," Third Annual Wine Industry Financial Seminar, Kennewick, Washington, Dec. 1, 2010
  • Speaker, "Bonding Processes and Strategies," Winery and Wine Distribution Law Conference, 2007, 2008
  • Author, "From Bacchus to Our House: Taxation of the Oregon Wine Industry under Current Twenty-First Amendment and Commerce Clause Jurisprudence," 73 Or. L. Rev. 711, 1994 

Related News & Publications

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