Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. DeConti

Elizabeth DeConti

Shareholder, GrayRobinson, P.A.

Elizabeth DeConti is a Shareholder in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson, P.A. and is a member of the firm's Alcohol Beverage and Food Team. Prior to joining GrayRobinson, she was a partner with the Tampa office of Holland & Knight and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont, Chief Judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court. She earned her B.A. cum laude and with Distinction in Renaissance Studies from Yale University in 1993 and then received her J.D. cum laude in 1996 from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a Harvey T. Reid Scholar. Awarded the highest rating assigned by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory "AV", Ms. DeConti focuses her practice on litigation and compliance matters related to the rules, regulation and business practices that govern the marketing, sale, and consumption of malt beverages, wine, distilled spirits, and other regulated products in the alcohol and food industry. She is also a circuit court mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida. Ms. DeConti's trial experience includes commercial, franchise, intellectual property, and ADA cases litigated on behalf of major breweries, alcohol suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other members of the hospitality industry in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. In addition to her court experience, she represents many clients in alternative dispute resolution. She also advises clients on issues pertaining to trade regulation and marketing practices in the food and beverage industry, and concentrates on regulatory compliance, as well as advertising and promotional law. Ms. DeConti also drafts contracts related to advertising, distribution, importation, and related issues associated with the food and beverage industry. Ms. DeConti is a member of The Florida Bar and The Connecticut Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida. Additionally, she is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She is also a frequent lecturer to the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries.

Ms. DeConti can be contacted at 813-273-5000 or edeconti@gray-robinson.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.