Friday, August 31, 2012

AP: NJ on hook for $800K stemming from wine lawsuit

NJ on hook for $800K stemming from wine lawsuit
Posted: Aug 31, 2012 5:55 PM EDT Updated: Aug 31, 2012 5:55 PM EDT

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey is on the hook for more than $800,000 in attorneys' fees to people who challenged laws governing out-of-state wine shipments.

U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden's ruling entered Friday rejected the state's argument that although the plaintiffs got what they wanted when the state Legislature changed the laws earlier this year, they didn't prevail in the legal battle and shouldn't be awarded fees.

Several New Jersey residents and a California winery sued in 2003 over laws that allowed in-state wineries to sell directly to consumers but required out-of-state wineries to use a wholesaler.

A federal appeals court sided with most of the plaintiffs' claims, but the case was held while the Legislature considered action.

In January, Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill that allowed out-of-state wineries to ship directly.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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