Trying to Muzzle a Barking Dog: Avi Adelman Sued for Defamation Over Lost Society Postings

Avi Adelman, the Barking Dog, has been nipping at the heels of Lost Society on Lower Greenville since at least June, when bar co-owner Brightman "Brian" Nwatu was taken into custody and put on immigration hold for evading deportation for five years. Two days later, Adelman followed up with news that Fernando Rosales, Lost Society's co-owner, had been popped by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for claiming to be the sole owner of Lost Society.

The latter's still pending: Rosales and his attorney, Armando Miranda, are attempting to get that felony case dismissed. And on Friday, Miranda added another thing to his to-do list: Avi Adelman. In Dallas County court, Rosales is suing Adelman for defamation, claiming he has "committed libel and published disparaging and defamatory words that were untrue" on Barking Dogs. Adelman just posted the filing to his website, along with a lengthy recap of the events leading to the lawsuit.

Much of the filing stems from Adelman's referring to Lost Society when describing the shooting that took place in the Char Bar parking lot early on June 3. Adelman wrote that the dust-up that led to the shooting began at Lost Society, then posted a PhotoShopped image of the Lost Society billboard -- featuring a shooting-range target and a slogan about how "being murdered on the street after getting intoxicated at our bar may or may not be considered an 'ultimate' experience." Miranda says the artwork also violated Lost Society's trademark. Rosales also doesn't like being referred to as the owner of a "scumbar."

Miranda tells Unfair Park he and Rosales met with Adelman last month for an hour and asked him to refrain from publishing "anything [he hasn't] verified with someone." Says the attorney, "We just approached him and said, 'Can we reach an agreement about this?'" Had Adelman agreed, Miranda says, "We would probably drop this in a heartbeat."

Update at 12:31 p.m. Tuesday: Before the jump, this just in: Judge Mark Greenberg has denied Rosales's request for a temporary restraining order. He writes: "The petitioner has not sustained his burden of establishing entitlement to extraordinary, ex parte relief." Now keep reading.

Adelman says it didn't go down like that: He says he was deposed in mid-November, when he was subpoenaed in Rosales's case against Andres Properties, which locked the doors to Lost Society after the initial ruckus earlier this summer. (A justice of the peace eventually ordered the Andreses to unlock the doors and let Lost Society get back to business.)

Adelman says his only discussion with Rosales and Miranda took place during the two-hour deposition, during which, Adelman says, "I did tell [Miranda], 'If you give me stuff to prove what I am saying is wrong, I'll remove it or change it.' And he never gave me a document."

(Update at 3:01 p.m.: Adelman sends the following clarification: "I talked to Miranda in the parking outside his burned building for an hour about this whole thing, and told him, show me proof they are untrue. But the issues/reviewed items were the same. In the deposition, I repeated the reference to the BD Policy and Terms. He never sent one document to me until the lawsuit docs on Saturday night.")

Miranda says what ultimately led to the filing on Friday was a post on Barking Dogs dated December 4: "Lost Society - the gift you just can't get rid of." It offers a recap of the doings thus far, and the attorney alleges that much of what is there is either untrue or distorted to the point of libel: "You have the freedom of the press and the right to write the truth, but then [he hides] behind journalistic credentials and says, 'I don't have to reveal my sources,'" Miranda says.

Miranda has asked for a temporary restraining order that would keep Adelman from posting any further about Lost Society. He says his client's "ultimate goal" is to have the Barking Dog remove all postings about Lost Society.

Says Adelman: "That's not going to happen."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky