Walter J. Sullivan, Jr. Esquire
My practice concentrates on local and state regulations; licensing of regulated industries, such as alcoholic beverages, cannabis – marijuana – hemp, gaming and other professional licenses; local permitting; government relations; public relations; labor and employment; housing and public accommodation.
I represent regulated industries and persons in both licensing and enforcement actions before state and local agencies, such as the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), Gaming Commission (MGC), Division of Professional Licensure (DPL), Department of Agricultural Resources, Hemp Program (MDAR), Local Licensing Authorities, etc.
I appear before local elected officials, public officials, departments, including licensing boards, planning boards, zoning boards of appeal, and local community groups, on behalf of the alcohol industry and cannabis – marijuana industry relative to locating communities in which to do business. I conduct community outreach meetings, negotiate and execute host community agreements, special permitting relative to zoning ordinances and bylaws and licensing before local officials.
As Chairman of the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, I worked on gaming issues, including drafting legislation that eventually formulated current law regarding slot parlors and casinos in Massachusetts. I have a broad knowledge of the gaming law encompassing the regulatory, political, and civic processes, giving me insight to advise clients seeking casino and/or slot parlor licenses, gaming industry vendor licenses, and gaming industry employee licenses. I also advocate for clients before the MGC and state and local elected and pubic officials to ensure that their wants and needs are being addressed.
At the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC), I served as Chairman, overseeing the approval of off-premise and on-premise retailer, wholesaler, supplier, manufacturer, farmer-brewers, farmer-distillers and farmer-wineries licenses. I supervised the investigations of compliance with the Alcoholic Beverages Control Act and ABCC Regulations.
I have more than seven years of experience as Commissioner and Chairman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). At the MCAD, I oversaw the investigation, prosecution and appeals of alleged violations of state and federal anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodations. I conducted numerous commission initiated complaint investigations and public hearings. I mediate employment and housing charges of discrimination.
I advise clients on employment issues concerning wage and hours laws; anti-discrimination laws; labor laws and workforce harassment, as well as employee leave issues under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other relevant state laws; reasonable accommodation issues relative to the ADA and state laws; employee discipline; and termination and wrongful termination. I conduct internal investigations on behalf of clients, including sexual harassment investigations. Further, as a result of my experience, I advise and represent property owners/landlords on claims of discrimination and reasonable accommodations.