Tracy serves as Vice President & General Counsel for the Wine Institute, a legal advocacy and public policy association comprised of more than a thousand members that collectively account for over 85 percent of United States wine production and 90 percent United States wine exports.
As a top expert in her field, she has been a passionate educator for over 15 years, teaching at the foremost law schools in the country, as well as internationally. She has received high marks from her students and cohorts for her desire to help students see the connection to learning and real world legal process in the wine industry. She is a strong communicator who can clearly and confidently lecture to students whether in a law school classroom or a guest lecture in an auditorium. She has an outgoing and motivating personality that encourages lively and group discussions from all of her students and attendees.
An internationally recognized thought leader, Tracy has advised an international clientele on complex legal disputes with an emphasis on highly regulated industries. Her expertise includes licensing, federal and state regulatory compliance, human resource issues, negotiations and strategic partnerships. Marrying compliance rigor with business savvy, Tracy has advised clients on cutting-edge issues involving First Amendment claims, digital advertising platforms and privacy protection laws. She has represented clients before federal and state legislative bodies, the Tax and Trade Bureau and Federal Trade Commission. She has testified before the House Judiciary Committee and argued and won the Family Winemakers v. Jenkins case in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
As a partner in two national law firms, Tracy directed one of the most complex and successful multidistrict litigation efforts of the twentieth-first century. The years-long effort, culminating in the United State Supreme Court’s landmark Granholm v. Heald decision, achieved victory by assembling a five-justice majority that overcame a dissenting opinion joined by the Court’s left-most Justice (Justice Stevens), right-most Justice (Justice Thomas), center-most Justice (Justice O’Connor) and Chief Justice (Chief Justice Rehnquist). No other Supreme Court litigation team has achieved similar success. To achieve the Granholm victory, Tracy called on Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of Stanford Law School, to argue the case to the Supreme Court. Dean Sullivan’s podium presentation was supported by, among many others, Kenneth W. Starr (former president of Baylor University and dean of Pepperdine Law School), political scientist and constitutional theorist Michael Greve, Oxford economist Robert Hahn, and Nobel laureate Vernon Lomax Smith.
Tracy has been recognized as a “Top Women Litigator” by the Daily Journal, which called her the “primary go-to litigator for American wine industry trade associations on constitutional issues.”
Tracy’s leadership successes have been achieved through collaboration with diverse teams comprised of other talented leaders.
At the Wine Institute, Tracy provides risk-management, compliance, litigation advice, regulatory oversight, guidance to hundreds of privately held, family-owned, high-enterprise-value companies. These companies are fiercely defensive of their individual and distinctive branding, stature, positioning, and firm cultures. She advises the Institute’s Human Resources Department as well as organizes and implements Diversity Equity, Inclusion initiatives throughout the wine industry.
At Edrington North America, Tracy served as a principal in the start-up phase of the United States expansion of the Scotland based spirits group that produces Macallan scotches and other world-famous products. Tracy was an architect in building Edrington’s 100-employee American team while preserving a centuries-old firm culture that is rooted in a unique ownership structure capped off by a charitable foundation.
• Special Appointment, Universite De Reims (France),
• UC Davis School of Law, Adjunct Professor:
• UC Berkeley School of Law, Adjunct Professor:
• Stanford Law School, Lecturer in Law
• Harvard Law School, Lecturer in Law
• Stanford Graduate School of Business, Regular Guest Lecturer
• Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business, Regular Guest Lecturer
• “Holding Provincial Liquor Laws to a Higher standard: Comeau and Granholm”, 2 (2019) JusVini, J Wine and Spirits Law p. 35 seq.
BA Honors Degree, University of Madison Wisconsin (1985)
JD Degree, Chicago - Kent School of Law (1988)