LAWYERS V. HAMBURGERS  1:25 pm October 14, 2010

Lawyers Hate the Burger Trend As Much As You Do

by Arielle Fleisher

don't breathe too deeplyThe angry lawyers at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson actually SUED the Dupont Circle hamburger shop Rogue States because the alleged smell of burning dead animal was wafting up from the restaurant into the firm’s offices, making the lawyers sick and distracting them from doing whatever the remaining employed lawyers do with their billable hours. And they won: Rogue States is now closed.

In Washington DC, it is immoral to block access to cupcakes, lobster rolls or hamburgers. The lawyers are going to have to put in years of pro bono work to make up for ruining a local restaurant. In America, small businesses are supposed to fail because of ObamaCare, not because of big-shot lawyers who refuse to breathe the main smell of the United States: scorched feedlot animal muck and grease.

According to the Washington Post:

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled the popular Dupont Circle eatery Rogue States a nuisance on Tuesday and ordered it to stop grilling hamburgers after an eight-month dispute with a neighboring law firm over its “intense and noxious odor.”

Over three days of testimony, [Judge John M.] Mott said he had heard “ample evidence” to conclude that the restaurant at 1300 Connecticut Ave. NW is to blame for the itchy and watery eyes, nausea and headaches suffered by employees of Steptoe & Johnson.

The burger people say they will prevail, somehow; maybe by getting a new exhaust system that doesn’t send the smoke straight up to the “high rise canyon” surrounding the shop.

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Nigel October 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

This is why we need tort reform.

DashboardBuddha October 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm


Sassomatic October 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm

They cannot, however, prevent me from walking into the lobby and ripping a nasty fart. Which is what I would do every day if I worked at that hamburger joint.

widestanceroman October 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Finding access to the air intake system would be even more effective. You could bean up (let's throw some cabbage and egg salad in for good measure), position a chair and make a day of it.

Chet Kincaid October 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm

This is why "24" got canceled–that's all the writers had left.

slappypaddy October 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm

oh, yeah, like a law firm gives off a pleasant fragrance.

Chet Kincaid October 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I nominate you to lead the Retort Reform campaign!

PsycWench October 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm

It's a good thing for the lawyers that the only thing causing itching, watery eyes and nausea and headaches is burger fumes.

TheInternet October 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm

"Well, the couldn't exactly sue each other, could they?"

This is what litigators call a failure of imagination.

Gratuitous World October 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

i'll take a double-cheese-nuisance with a side of fries please.

V572625694 October 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I work in an old building and our landlord was going to move us to a lousier space to make room for a hoity-toity law firm. We screamed and yelled but the lease allowed it and we had no recourse. But the guy running the "deli" on the first floor, who was buddies with the landlord, kept cooking bacon every morning, and for whatever reason that smell would pervade the common areas, even the hallways on the 12th floor. So the law firm moved somewhere else, and we didn't have to.

Therefore I demand that the right to cook greasy foods that kill you slowly in semi-public places be added to the Constitution, along with the part about beer distributors in the 21st Amendment.

Extemporanus October 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Send lawyers, buns, and…oh, fuck it.

HELisforHEL October 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

HA HA Love me a WZ reference

widestanceroman October 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm

It was a deadly combination of burgers and Drakkar what made the smell so bad. That said, I would shut down a Starbucks if I had to smell burnt pretension all day.

Doglessliberal October 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

My husband's former office was directly on top of a Starbucks. The smell was overwhelming at times.

And, having worked in a greasy spoon where I had to scrub myself with a brush after a shift to get the lawyer of grease from the grill off my skin, I can actually see the lawyers' point. Put a grill full of greasy burgers right outside your window day after day and let the smell waft over you 24/7. It gets old fast.

HistoriCat October 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

So does have lawyers for neighbors but nobody is doing anything about that.

Doglessliberal October 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Prove they are a nuisance, and you are golden. Easier to prove a nuisance in in DC than VA, so go for it.

V572625694 October 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Ha ha, you said "lawyer of grease." Intentional or not, good stuff!

Doglessliberal October 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hah! Unintentional redundancy.

CapnFatback October 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

When will slappypaddy join these chatty catties?.

widestanceroman October 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hah! Being vegetarian (seafood excepted), relentless burger stank would get to me in short order (pun intended). I can easily see their side. As for Starbucks, I am an avid hater, and can barely tolerate being in the same zip code as one.

Doglessliberal October 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I am a 100% vegetarian (no fish, no gelatin, no chicken broth, etc), and a lawyer, and a redhead, and thin, and a runner, and lefthanded, and love Obama, so I am probably approaching Most Hated category. I don't like Starbucks, either. Overroasted beans. I will get a soy chai there if I am desperate.

widestanceroman October 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm

But, you are brave indeed to admit all that here. Just don't go muslin, and there will be no trouble, OK?

HistoriCat October 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Lawyer bad, redhead good. Mind going into meltdown.

Jukesgrrl October 14, 2010 at 8:29 pm

No more p for you, missy.

JustPixelz October 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm

"…the lawyer of grease…

I suppose you meant "layer of grease", but the sentence reads OK either way.

PsycWench October 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

This reminds me of a certain type of person who moves somewhere like the semi-rural area of SW VA where I live, because of the bucolic landscape, wide open spaces, rustic scenery, etc. After a few weeks, he/she discovers that those farms has stinky cows and loud chickens, and bitches constantly, sometimes tries to remedy the terrible burden via legal action, and so on. Meanwhile, everyone else is thinking "What the hell did you think a cow smelled like, Chanel #5?"

GOPCrusher October 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

That's the State Motto of my beloved, Iowa.

T_Party_Pickens October 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I thought it was, "Pigs. First we fuck 'em; then, we fricassee 'em."

deelzebub October 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Or the people who move to Florida and then want all the alligators killed because they might eat Jr. or the dog. They couldn't possibly have known about that 100,000,000 year old species that is the most famous (besides the olds) animal in the state.

Jukesgrrl October 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Or the pretentious in Pittsburgh who buy warehouse condos 10 yards from a railroad track and then sue because they can hear trains.

JustPixelz October 14, 2010 at 9:26 pm

People don't seem to like the smell of food. And yet obesity rates keep rising.

CapnFatback October 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Newly emboldened by their victory, next the lawyers will go after Fuddrucker's on a trumped-up obscenity charge.

Terry October 14, 2010 at 3:50 pm

"In Washington DC, it is immoral to block access to cupcakes, lobster rolls or hamburgers."

This is because all the people who move here from elsewhere skew things. Among the real locals, the true foodie dedication is to crabcakes and half smokes.

lochnessmonster October 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Lawyers shutting down business putting people on the welfare roles. Where are the tea baggers protesting these lawyers for interfering with small business that grows jobs?

Jukesgrrl October 14, 2010 at 8:33 pm

No time to protest. They're too busy collecting money from all the businesses that are cutting jobs.

JustPixelz October 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm

So, the anti-meat folks advertise on Wonkette — I'm looking at you Jenna Jameson … seriously, I'm looking at you on the intertubes — and a D.C. burger place gets shut down by the invisible hand of a lawsuit. I guess there are no limits to our wonkette's powers.

zhubajie October 15, 2010 at 6:47 am

Maybe barbecue lawyers in a pit?

zhubajie October 15, 2010 at 6:52 am

Why not just cook the meat in a crock pot or something? Like a sloppy joe? China has lots of variations on stewed meat on a bun.

Doglessliberal October 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Oh, I forgot: atheist!

Doglessliberal October 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Depends on the lawyer, type of practice, etc. Trust me.

widestanceroman October 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Thank fucking christ (me, too). That cleans up the lawyer. . .taint (have at it, punsters!).

slappypaddy October 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

here i am, a day late and a dollar short, but i got nuthin'. (i stopped by earlier, said the only witty thing that's come out of my mouth in weeks.)

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