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Foreign Brewer Commercial Law Appeal

This case involved novel issues regarding the interaction of the Twenty-First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the Federal Arbitration Act.  When a Polish brewer terminated an Illinois distributor, the distributor filed suit alleging that the termination violated the Illinois Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act.  The district court refused to enforce a contract provision requiring arbitration in Poland, holding that the Twenty-First Amendment (which reserves regulation of alcoholic beverages to the states) trumped the arbitration clause.  We appealed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and ordered arbitration in Poland.  After the arbitrators rejected the distributor’s claims, the district court confirmed the award, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.