City Hall

Never Mind That September Trial Date in Beer, Wine Case. There's Now An April Hearing.

If you click to embiggen the image at right you'll note it's  an invite to a beer-and-wine "launch party" at the Preston Forest Whole Foods scheduled for tomorrow; it arrived this morning with the header "It's the end of Prohibition at Preston Forest's Whole Foods Market." Soon as it landed in the in-box, I went over to Dallas County's website to see if there'd been any further filings in the lawsuit trying to overturn the referendum allowing for the citywide sale of beer and wine, which, you may recall, is set to go to trial on September 12 following two days' worth of hearings last month.

And, sure enough: On February 10, Leland de la Garza, one of the attorneys fighting to overturn the election on behalf of liquor stores and real-estater Marcus Wood and city council-appointed Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member Jerry Christian, filed a massive motion for summary judgment -- between the motion and the exhibits, it runs 151 pages. One day later, Judge Laurine Blake of Bonham, who's presiding over the anti side's fight against the city, set a hearing on the motion for April 19 at the George Allen.

"They're within their rights to do that," says First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers this morning, when asked about the motion. "Ideally, you want to have it heard before trial so you don't have to gear up for trial. In this case, all their actions have indicated they'd at least like to win their case as fast as they can. But we will be filing an equally massive response. We will have a vigorous defense, and I am not losing sleep over their summary judgment motion."

He says the city's response will be filed within the next couple of weeks. We'll post shortly thereafter. Till then, those in need of some weekend reading are free to jump for the other side's filing. I'd recommend taking a sixer with you.

Anti-Beer and Wine Side's Motion for Summar Judgment

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky