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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Payments To Vegas Firm

24 January 2005

Las Vegas Sun

AUSTIN, Texas -- A judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to bar the state from paying nearly $400,000 in legal fees to a Las Vegas law firm hired to write gambling legislation.

District Judge Stephen Yelenosky said the plaintiff, Russ Verney of Dallas, did not have standing to file the lawsuit because he did not prove he was unduly harmed by the state contract with the firm.

The ruling does not apply to whether the Texas attorney general's office and the state Lottery Commission had the legal authority to hire the firm of Lionel Sawyer & Collins.

The firm, which represents some of Nevada's best-known casinos, was hired in December 2003 to draft legislation that would have legalized video slot machines at Texas racetracks.

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