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June 08, 2017

Three Expo Events Appeals Dallas Ruling To Fifth Circuit

DALLAS—Still smarting from its latest loss in its attempt to bring an Exxxotica Lifestyle Convention to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center here, Three Expo Events attorney Roger Albright has filed a Notice of Appeal with the federal Clerk of Courts in the Northern District of Texas, advising that he and co-counsel J. Michael Murray will be appealing the decision of U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to dismiss Three Expo's suit against the city. The Fitzwater decision was based on the concept that since Three Expo Events was listed as the plaintiff against the city, and the entity "Exxxotica Dallas," a subsidiary of Three Expo, was the company that attempted to enter into contracts with the convention center's management, that Three Expo had no standing to sue after the Dallas City Council, at the instance of several religio-conservatives including oil magnate Roy Hunt, passed a resolution directing the center's manager not to allow the Exxxotica show to take place there. Three Expo had attempted to amend its lawsuit shortly before the case was heard in order to correct the name of the plaintiff, but Judge Fitzwater ruled that the Motion to Amend had been filed too late, according to court rules, and also stated that Three Expo should have anticipated that the city would challenge the lawsuit on the basis of that "incorrect" name. "They are affiliated companies," Albright told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. "Put it this way: One is the producer of the movie, one is the director, but Three Expo and Exotica Dallas are both affiliated with the movie and both have the right to sue to protect their First Amendment right to put on the movie." Both Three Expo and Exxxotica Dallas are operated by Jeff Handy, so no matter which entity may be noted on contracts, Handy is the person making the decisions. The plaintiff's appeal was filed on June 6—and early next week, the Dallas City Council will meet to vote on whether to continue paying "outside counsel" Scott D. Bergthold a sum in addition to the $675,000 he has already billed in order for him to continue his defense of the council's decision to ban the expo. Albright said he expects the Fifth Circuit to hear his appeal sometime in 2018. (H/t to David and Susan Bradley for the info)  

 
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