I Wish I Was A Lawyer…sometimes.
I wish I was a lawyer sometimes because I’ll often read something concerning a lawsuit and just not understand the intent of it.
In 2000 OK voters approved a new law that allowed OK wineries to sell their wines directly to OK restaurants and retailers, rather than being forced to sell their wines to a middleman wholesaler, who would then sell to the restaurants and retailers.
Fast forward to 2006. Earlier this year a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional for a state to allow its own wineries to do this, but not allow out of state wineries to sell directly to the states’ restaurants and retailers.
As you can imagine, the wine wholesalers around the country aren’t to fond of this ruling because it suggests there are in fact a number of states like OK that allow their wineries to go around the wholesalers. In many cases the wholesalers in various states have lobbied their legislators to get rid of the law that that allows in-state wineries to self distribute their wine. The wholesalers just don’t want any chance that out-of-state wineries will start doing the same.
But in OK, the wholesalers have sued saying the law is unconstitutional, which it is, and that it should be taken off the books.
What I can’t understand is why they are suing at all. Why not just sit tight? Isn’t it possible that the judge in this lawsuit will rule that the state must "level up" and fix the statutes unconstitutional condition by allowing other wineries to ship to OK restaurants and retailers.
I’m no lawyer. And I’d be interested to hear what more legally-inclined minds see that I don’t see. It just seems to this writer that if I was a wholesaler I’d let the whole things sit there and not touch the issue. At this point all the wholesalers have to worry about is OK wineries selling direct to restaurants. And that’s not a lot of lost sales. Why not wait until an out-of-state winery or consortium challenges the law rather than taking the chance that the judge will rule to open up the state out CA wineries?