The Firms

October 7, 2010 4:21 PM

With Relish: Steptoe's Burger Battle Continues

Posted by Brian Baxter

When the dinner bell rings, there's a good chance The Am Law Daily will have a hankering for something meaty and juicy. And while the prospect of chowing down on a tasty patty of ground beef fills us with only good thoughts, it looks like the folks at Steptoe & Johnson have had their fill of grilled burgers.

Offended by the smell filtering into its Washington, D.C., office from nearby burger joint Rogue States, Steptoe sought an injunction against the eatery back in July, according to sibling publication The National Law Journal. Now the dispute over the restaurant's smelly smokiness has headed to trial.

The NLJ reports that a bench trial in District of Columbia Superior Court kicked off October 4. Steptoe has turned to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in its effort to obtain the injunction, which Rogue States claims would put it out of business.

Holland & Knight is representing the owner of the building in which Rogue States is located. The building's management says Rogue States installed a new ventilation system in response to previous complaints by Steptoe and a violation notice from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Steptoe says that's not good enough.

The firm wants Rogue States, represented by Roetzel & Andress,to move an exhaust vent from its current location on the second floor of the building to the roof. The restaurant argues that doing so would cost an estimated $150,000--a cost it believes should be picked up by its landlord.

The operations manager for Steptoe's D.C. office was cross-examined by Roetzel & Andress partner Gary Adler on Wednesday, according to the Washington City Paper. In response to a Rogue assertion that the firm's own cafeteria vents into its offices, an engineer for Steptoe's landlord, Boston Properties, testified that the kitchen's ventilation system was not faulty.

We'll keep you apprised of any more delicious developments. Now, about those dinner plans...

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