Overview

Jessica M. "Jessie" Brown is an attorney in the firm's West Coast Litigation Group, serving both Alaska and California clients of the firm. A former member of the firm's Corporate Services Practice Group's Public Companies and Securities Team, she possesses a deep understanding of corporate governance, board and shareholder disputes and regulatory counseling, which serves her primary practice areas: high-stakes business litigation and pre-litigation counseling, as well as alcohol beverage regulatory compliance.

In her litigation practice, Ms. Brown represents healthcare providers and supply chain food, beverage, and commodity distributors and retailers in complex business disputes with a pre-litigation corporate governance focus or regulatory compliance element. She is well versed in the Brown Act, Political Reform Act and other legal issues facing legislative bodies and local agencies in California. Ms. Brown tackles specialized administrative law matters for her infrastructure and retail clients with vigor, working across the aisle with state regulators to achieve the best possible results. Her experience in administrative hearings and appeals, as well as framing and advancing appellate issues for maximum impact, most recently resulted in vacatur and remand in two precedent-setting cases, where she served as first chair and argued before the Alaska Supreme Court. Ms. Brown relishes details and devotes herself to understanding every relevant facet of her client's business in order to gain strategic advantage. Arbitrators, judges and regulators routinely call upon her demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter to provide candid analysis of key areas of confusion or dispute.

Ms. Brown's comprehensive alcohol licensing practice in Alaska and California focuses on hospitality, wholesaler and retail clients. Her Alaska alcohol beverage practice is among the most prolific in the state for the supplier and retail-side sector. She is often regarded as the "go to" in Alaska for any publicly or privately held hospitality, food and beverage, franchisee, commodity or gas station supplier that seeks to apply for, transfer or maintain an alcohol license. She assists clients to navigate every step of the state, borough, municipal or local alcohol licensing process. She is well versed in ancillary tax and marketplace facilitator issues. She has successfully shepherded numerous liquor licensing, business, special land or conditional use, health and safety, and tax matters through various agencies. Her litigation practice serves clients facing administrative enforcement or compliance actions.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Brown served as an adjunct professor of law at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. After receiving her law degree, Ms. Brown clerked for Justice Craig F. Stowers of the Alaska Supreme Court and Judge Susan Y. Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. While in law school, Ms. Brown served three semesters as a judicial extern to Associate Justice Ming W. Chin of the Supreme Court of California. She also interned in the French-speaking appellate chamber of Judge Mehmet Güney of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully advocated for the suspension of Alaska regulations and statutes to provide relief to individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19 to allow for the curbside pickup of alcohol from restaurants, breweries, distilleries and retail stores, as well as the delivery of sealed beer and wine from restaurants with food orders
  • Represent most alcohol retailers, hotels, recreation lodges, restaurants, gas stations, wholesale suppliers, airport purveyors and cruise ships in successful initiation or buy-sell licensing transactions, renewal applications and entity change of form issues in Alaska
  • Represent nation's three largest big-box store retailers in alcohol licensing compliance matters in Alaska
  • Represent national brand restaurants, wineries, cruise ships and wholesalers in ongoing alcohol licensing compliance matters in Alaska, Washington and California, including responding to administrative enforcement actions
  • Represent Alaska's largest ski resort in real estate, regulatory and corporate compliance issues, including alcohol licensing matters
  • Represent national brand fuel distribution and retail chain to monitor and advise on marketplace facilitator compliance

Appellate

  • Represented federally recognized Indian tribe in a precedent-setting Native American Law matter before the Alaska Supreme Court that resulted in full vacatur and remand in favor of client
  • Represented mining group in agency actions, as well as trial and appellate litigation, to successfully quiet title to claims in dispute

Business

  • Represented large Southern California healthcare provider in high-stakes pricing dispute that resulted in multimillion-dollar settlement in favor of client
  • Represented one of the largest online trademark filing services in the country against state and federal unfair competition claims
  • Seconded to refining and fuel marketing family of companies to monitor and advise on ongoing agency, state and federal court rate litigation

Maritime

  • Represented vessel owners in regulatory action before the U.S. Maritime Administration
  • Represented crude oil supplier in state regulatory matter concerning spill contingency plan
  • Represented party in a post-judgment action to enforce an existing judgment concerning a private vessel in the United States and Taiwan

Credentials

Education
  • Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., with honors
  • Graduate Theological Union, M.A., Ethics
  • Barnard College, Columbia University, B.A., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Alaska
  • California
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Alaska
  • All State Courts in California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
Memberships
  • National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals (NALCP)
  • National Association of Alcohol Beverage Attorneys (NAABLA)
  • Alaska Bar Association, Pro Bono Service Committee
  • Alaska Bar Association, Law Examiners Committee
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star Award, 2017-2021
  • Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition, Excellence in Appellate Advocacy Award (First-Place Team); Best Brief Award (First-Place Team); Outstanding Individual Achievement in Oral Argument, 2013
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • French

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News