Joshpe Law Group Wins Federal First Amendment Trial for Buck Foston’s
Joshpe Law Group, on behalf of client Larry Blatterfein and his company, won a jury verdict in a federal trial last week stemming from Blatterfein’s decision to name a sports bar in New Brunswick, NJ “Buck Foston’s.” 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, which is a twist on the Boston-New York sports rivalry, in violation of his First Amendment rights. Blatterfein’s plans to open the establishment were scuttled when his request for a liquor license transfer was denied and he lost the property.
He 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. 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 seven-person jury, which deliberated for two days after six days of trial, returned a verdict for Blatterfein and awarded him $1.535 million.