Drink Up: Judge Pours Out Lawsuit Trying to Overturn Citywide Sale of Beer and Wine

Categories: City Hall
pouringoutbeer.jpg
Flickr user: Erik Gustafson
Looks like we'll need to find something else to do on September 12: Judge Laurine Blake of Bonham has dismissed the lawsuit hoping to overturn the November referendum allowing for the citywide sale of beer and wine. As we've noted in recent days, the city had filed a motion for summary judgment in advance of the scheduled trial date, insisting that then-City Secretary Deborah Watkins had plenty of valid signatures on those petitions to trigger the local option election. But Andy Siegel and Leland de la Garza insisted yet again in their own filings last week that, no, she did not and that Progress Dallas was 1,612 valid signatures short of the 69,702 signatures needed.

The City Attorney's Office says it may have a statement later today; depends if Tom Perkins wants to weigh in on a suit that'll find an afterlife in the appeals court. Because there will be an appeal: "No big surprise," Siegel tells Unfair Park via email. "Saves the time & expense of going to trial before the appeals court clarifies the governing legal standard of whether the City was required to come up with a certified & valid number of Petition signatures before calling a lawful election."

Update at 5:27 p.m.: Thie City Attorney's Office just sent a brief statement: As in: "Today's ruling confirms that the Dallas City Secretary and the Dallas City Council followed the State laws and City ordinances when placing the local option election on the ballot. The ruling also validates the decision of the Dallas voters."
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Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

1. I love the hypocrisy of the businessmen. When gov't wants to RESTRICT their actions, oh no, that is bad. When voters want to open competition, they object. I thought competition was a GOOD thing? Selfish oaf. I will never, ever shop at Sigel's or Centennial again. Ever. 2. As for those who continue to object to liquor sales, then don't drink. Shut your door and close your windows, but if I want to buy a bottle of wine to go with my dinner, I should not have to drive more than five miles to find a decent vintage. Nor should I have to have a string of negligent liquor stores along Samuell Blvd whose sole existence was because of the dry lines.Maybe if some DECENT grocery stores move to far east Dallas, we can finally bring in the tax dollars we need so much!! 3. Eight months in a recession won't see a huge increase in tax revenues yet. But wait until fall. Football games, holday parties, etc... ANY money coming in is good. The way to really see the impact is to look at retail sales at businesses before and after the vote. 4. Thank you to the judge who saw reason.

5. Again, never, ever again will I shop these places.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Regardless of the petition's signed or the vote confirmation in November.  The sad part is that beer and wine has been sold all over Dallas now for about 8 months and will continue, however our budget still has cuts.  What happened to all those the tax dollars??? I would be suing the City of Dallas over misreprentation of statements that swayed the voters over petition verifications...

Guest
Guest

Well, as we learned from the initial Trinity River Project vote, the city is allowed to lie and misrepresent things. It's the specific ballot language that controls the city's responsibilities.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I seem to recall that one of the new laws in Texas makes those who file frivolous law suits pay all the legal costs to defend against their frivolous law suit. So are we going to see those who fought to overturn a valid petition and election decided by the citizens of Dallas pony up and cover the costs of their law suit?   It seems to me that this is a perfect example/use of that new law.   Make the liquor stores pay for the legal defense of the city.

Bob
Bob

Do you REALLY think that the attorneys for these liquor stores control the decision-making process, rather than the liquor stores themselves?  The attorneys are hired to do exactly what they have done--sue the City to stop the expansion of beer and wine sales that will adversely affect their businesses.  They have the legal right to do this, and they have not done anything unethical or illegal in performing their jobs.

Wanna hate someone?  Hate the liquor stores.  They hired the lawyers and told them what to do.  Which, of course, the liquor stores had every right to do.  If you don't like what the liquor stores did, or are continuing to do by appealing, then hate up on them.  Directing your anger, or your comments, at the lawyers is a waste of time and energy.

If someone threatens YOUR business, or YOUR livelihood, what are you going to do? Cry your eyes out on Unfair Park, or go out and get yourself a lawyer to protect and defend your interests?  And while you are at it, don't you really want the meanest son of a bitch lawyer that you can afford?  You betcha.

jfpo
jfpo

Directing anger at lawyers is rarely a waste of time and energy.

Guest
Guest

Well, I don't personally see the law and the will of the people as something designed to protect my business interests.

As a person who hasn't had the government come in an arbitrarily decide to protect my business from market competition, when things threaten my business and my livelihood, I adapt. I don't go trying to thwart democracy and capitalism with half baked legal theories and outright lies.

I also probably wouldn't spend millions of dollars on lawyers that I could be spending trying to actually compete in the new marketplace.

David
David

I had to reread that first sentence about three times before I figure out which way the double-negatives were pointing. So...uh....we can get booze still, right?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Siegel & De La Garza are doing what ambulance chasers who work for the modern version of the mafia do best: Try to make more money for themselves. The people spoke gentlemen, let it go.

Maybe its also time the state gets its act together when it comes to changing the way we can purchase our beverages, including getting off the back of indie brewers and allowing sunday sales of all alcohol..

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

This reminds me of those Westboro Baptist Church people who keep suing for their "right" to protest at funerals. JUST STFU AND GO AWAY! NOBODY LIKES YOU!

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

Siegel you are so full of shit. Petitions to call an election aren't anything new; we Americans have been doing this sort of thing for hundreds of years and I think we pretty well have the kinks worked out on what it takes to get something on the ballot.

Your whole obfuscation technique about what it takes to get a "lawful election" is insulting to the entire American election process and it only goes to show just how desperate your client is to fight the will of the people and how desperate you are to take that client's cash.

Guest
Guest

We will fight to the ends of the Earth to thwart democracy and capitalism!

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

Great news.  I would certainly like to know who is putting up all the money to bring this suit.  They are probably scared of a general boycott of their stores if the names came out.

ThatGuy
ThatGuy

Last November, the word here was Goody-Goody and Centennial, possibly Sigel's (no relation or common spelling).  I don't know if any of those have pulled out of the process.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

I thought G-G pulled out.I am wondering if the distributors are involved.  In their case sales remain flat or slightly up but they have hundreds of more outlets to serve.That's what happens when you don't let free enterprise work from day one.

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