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Buck Foston's Wins Trial Verdict Against New Brunswick City Hall

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SOURCE Joshpe Law Group LLP

TRENTON, N.J., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Larry Blatterfein, the New Brunswick restaurant and sports bar operator who wanted to open an establishment named "Buck Foston's" won a multi-million dollar jury verdict after a federal trial in the District of New Jersey. Blatterfein alleged that New Brunswick City officials, led by Mayor James Cahill, derailed his sports bar-themed concept because they objected to his use of the name "Buck Foston's," which is a twist on the Boston-New York sports rivalry, in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Blatterfein, a long-time New Brunswick tavern owner, had planned on opening the first Buck Foston's in New Brunswick, New Jersey at the site of a former Bennigans, hoping it would help bring economic vitality back to the New Jersey city.  However, the plans were scuttled when his request for a liquor license transfer was denied and he lost the property.

Blatterfein, through his attorneys, Manhattan-based law firm, Joshpe Law Group LLP, alleged that City Hall retaliated against him because of his insistence on engaging in protected speech and then came up with pretextual reasons, like traffic and occupancy concerns, to deny him the liquor license transfer necessary to open Buck Foston's.  The matter attracted widespread attention several years ago when Blatterfein brought suit against the City of New Brunswick, its Mayor, James Cahill, and the City Council President at the time.  

The defendants sought to dismiss the claims, but U.S. District Judge, Freda Wolfson, who presided over the six-day trial, ruled in September that Blatterfein had presented enough evidence to warrant a trial.  The seven-person jury, which deliberated for two days, returned a verdict for Blatterfein and awarded him $1.535 million.

After the trial, Blatterfein said, "This has been a long, grueling, and expensive process to have my day in court and tell my story, but I remained confident that one day a jury, presented with the same evidence that I saw, would agree that my rights were unconstitutionally infringed."  One of his attorneys, Edward Paltzik, said, "It was an honor to represent an individual like Mr. Blatterfein, who remained steadfast and unwavering in seeking to vindicate his rights in the face of government overreach." Brett Joshpe, another of Blatterfein's attorneys added, "Our law firm has one overarching mission: confronting abuse of power wherever it may exist.  Today, we scored one for the good guys."

Blatterfein, who moved after the lawsuit, is opening a new establishment this week called Sunova Beach on South Howard Avenue in Tampa.  He also said that he intends to renew his efforts to pursue the Buck Foston's concept and will begin seeking a new flagship location. 

CONTACT:


Brett Joshpe, bjoshpe@joshpelaw.com

Edward Paltzik, epaltzik@joshpelaw.com

(646) 820-5130 / (917) 828-6237

(646) 820-6701 / (516) 526-0341

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