LaBella’s Loss

Judge Virginia M. Kendall issued this opinion (from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) last week. It concerns a restaurant (LaBella) that claimed it was the victim of selective enforcement and due process violations by the Village of Winnetka. LaBella sued under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, alleging violations of the Equal Protection [...]

Utah’s alcohol laws

In his article “Bars are about more than drinking,” Daniel Levin ponders Utah’s current private club laws.  Which, he notes, “are most often derided because they are so inconvenient and so irrational as to be maddening. But,” he believes, ”they are most offensive for their chilling effect on Americans’ constitutional right of free association.” Mr. Levin makes a [...]

A bad idea

A New York tavern catches a break in a decision issued last Thursday. The city went after the bar’s liquor license after a police officer witnessed a patron smoking a joint [read "marijuana cigarette"]. The administrative law judge revoked the license. But the Supreme Court of New York overturned that decision. Writing for the court, Judge Catterson stated, ”[w]e find that [...]

“Son, kick their butt.”

That’s one of my favorite lines from Hoosiers. Another comes from Coach Dale: ”My practices are not designed for your enjoyment.” Well, one Indiana adult club just let the City of Kokomo know something about the club’s practice of renewing alcohol permits: “Kokomo strip club wins fight over liquor license,” is the title of this article. It’s a simple story. In 2001 Mom [...]

Customer wins video-poker credits, Saloon loses liquor license

Although this opinion was issued in July, it was only recently published. (Which is how I found it.) Here are the CliffsNotes: The Boom Town Saloon has a video poker machine. A Chicago vice officer, while enjoying a beverage at the saloon, noticed a patron using the video machine. He ”watched the patron insert money into the machine [...]

Liquor license suspended after topless ‘midget wrestling’

… is the title of this article. (Source.) The 60-day suspension is stiff but, as the Mayor said, “It’s meant to send a message to other businesses in town that this won’t be tolerated.” I had no idea that topless ‘midget wrestling’ was an issue in Canton, Illinois. Now I do.

I’m still (without) standing

So close, yet so far. That’s the motto in this case. C. Blake’s Bar & Grill landed a $1.375 million judgment against the City of St. Peters, Missouri and others. The bar — more specifically, the bar’s sole shareholder’s husband — had alleged that the city increased police presence around the establishment and ultimately revoked [...]

Read Read Wine


Here’s an article I wrote for a superb publication, e-Commerce Law & Strategy. (I’ve clipped the newsletter to show my article only; if you’re interested in reading other articles in the September newsletter, you’ll need to subscribe.)  My article is about wine shipping. I was inspired after a recent visit to San Francisco, and the idea that I must have wine shipped [...]

Scores doesn’t score a federal injunction

Yesterday Judge Richard J. Sullivan of the Southern District of New York (USDC) issued an order dismissing a complaint brought by Scores East.   So what is Scores complaining about? It says the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) is trying to yank its liquor license in a way that violates the First Amendment. Specifically, the complaint alleges the [...]

Crisis averted for famous liquor license(s)

The Bellini cocktail will remain a menu item at Cipriani, where the drink achieved signature status. (You’ll still need $20.95 to buy one, though.) The New York Times reports that the “State Liquor Authority voted 2 to 1 on Wednesday to accept the family’s $500,000 settlement offer, rather than revoke its liquor licenses for more [...]