M. Jack Martin III


mfhliquorlaw [dot] com

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Jack began his practice in 1989 as a business attorney, organizing Texas business entities and guiding clients through a wide range of transactions, including the purchase and sale of businesses, manufacturing agreements, and licensing agreements. Early on, he became involved in alcoholic beverage licensing matters and began assisting clients in addressing marketing practice and “tied house” issues to insure compliance with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Since leaving the large firm arena in 1999, Jack has focused his practice exclusively on the alcoholic beverage industry. He assists clients in the manufacturing, distribution and retail tiers, as well as clients whose businesses are impacted by alcoholic beverage regulations, establish, maintain and expand their operations in accordance with the Texas and federal regulatory schemes. Jack has drafted legislation amending various provisions of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and served on ad hoc committees organized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to draft rules implementing the Code’s requirements and to revise the Commission’s licensing and enforcement processes. He has also spoken frequently on alcoholic beverage related topics to trade associations and other industry groups.

Representative Experience

  • Organized and implemented the merger of multiple beverage subsidiaries of major restaurant chain to obtain economies of scale
  • Restructured operations of private clubs managed by several major restaurant chains to insure compliance with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and TABC’s rules following judicial revision of the TABC’s interpretation of the Code
  • Designed and obtained TABC approval of an operational structure for a major music, film and multi-media festival allowing it to obtain sponsorships from alcoholic beverage manufacturers in compliance with the TABC’s “tied house” rules
  • Organized local subsidiary qualified to hold TABC-permits, created operational structure and obtained new permits for chain of over thirty restaurants acquired in bankruptcy proceeding
  • Assisted chain of 270+ grocery stores in restructuring of alcoholic beverage operations to obtain benefits of tax law changes
  • Obtained TABC approval of an operational structure for a video marketing and interactive game service allowing it to include alcoholic beverage advertising in video services supplied to retail accounts
  • Advised the owner of a major motor sports complex in obtaining an amendment of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code allowing the sale of wine and beer in addition to mixed beverages at the facility
  • Organized operational structure of and obtained permits for major manufacturer of beverage mixers in Texas to meet New York regulatory requirements
  • Designed structure and obtained permits for concessionaire at major stadiums allowing for acquisition of different forms of permits in different areas of the stadium to obtain benefit of differing tax rates
  • Represented manufacturer of liqueur-infused chocolates in successful defense of TABC cancellation proceeding
  • Designed and implemented structure allowing sale of wine at retail food market by winery owner consistent with “tied house” restrictions
  • Assisted in obtaining amendment to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code’s “tied house” restrictions allowing a major alcoholic beverage manufacturer to own and operate a major retail outlet
  • Obtained TABC approval of a patented draft beer delivery system for an international brewery

Education & Professional Background

Admitted to Practice: Texas, 1989
The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., May 1989
Petroleum Landman, Amoco Production Company (now BP Petroleum), 1980 – 1986
The University of Texas, B.B.A. with honors, December 1979

Before entering solo practice, Jack was a shareholder in the Business Section of Small, Craig & Werkenthin, P.C. and a partner in the Business Section of Jackson Walker, LLP, both in Austin.


“Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Amendments Affecting Breweries & Brewpubs”, Texas Craft Brewers Guild, 2013

“The Seller Training Safe Harbor”, Wine Law Conference, 2010

“Addressing Licensing Issues in the Transfer of Businesses Holding TABC Permits”, Texas Association of Business Brokers, June, 2009

“Recent Legislative Changes Affecting Texas Retailers”, Southwest Foodservice Expo, Texas Restaurant Association, Dallas, Texas, June, 2005

Moderator of “TABC and the Sunset Process”, Cantina Restaurant Bar & Nightclub Show, Texas Restaurant Association, Houston, Texas, February, 200

Moderator of “Liquid Assets: Getting and Keeping Your Alcoholic Beverage Permits” Southwest Foodservice Expo, Texas Restaurant Association, Houston, Texas, June, 2004

Moderator of “An Open Forum with the TABC”, Cantina Restaurant Bar & Nightclub Show, Texas Restaurant Association, San Antonio, Texas, February, 2003

“Obtaining a TABC Permit for Restaurants, Bars and Brewpubs”, Southwest Foodservice Expo, Texas Restaurant Association, Houston, Texas, June, 2002

“Retail Licensing: The Texas Example”; Wine, Beer & Spirits Law Conference, CLE International, Seattle, Washington, October, 2001

Activities, Affiliations & Recognitions

Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating (please see www.martindale.com/ratings)
Administrative and Public Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 1999–present
Business Section, State Bar of Texas, 1989–present
Young Men’s Business League of Austin, Board of Directors, 1994 – 2002; Member of the Year, 1996 (Sustaining Member)
Austin Parks Foundation, Board of Directors, 1999-2002
Deacon, Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, 2001-2004
Organizer, Christian Legal Society Speaker Series, University of Texas Law School, 2001 – 2009
Foundation for the Homeless, Volunteer, 1997 – Present

As a homebrewer and a fan of great beers, Jack feels fortunate to be a part of the alcoholic beverage industry. He enjoys riding dirt bikes, playing squash and hanging out with his two sons, Nick (23) and Maclean (20), both of whom now tower over him. Jack gives credit for most of the good things that have happened to him over the last 35 years to his wife and mentor, Liza.