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Smoking continues as lawyers squabble in cigar bar case

Publication Date: 2014-12-16
  • Publication:Lincoln Journal Star

Four months after a court denied cigar bars an exemption to the state ban, the owners of an Omaha pool hall remain frustrated that cigar bar patrons continue to smoke inside.

Big John's Billiards owners were victorious in their legal challenge to the exemption, which they said gave cigar bars an unfair advantage.

Their attorney, Ted Boecker Jr., on Monday criticized the state's failure to enforce the smoking ban in cigar bars even after two recent court actions.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled the exemption unconstitutional on Aug. 29, and another Supreme Court ruling last month denied the state's request for a rehearing.

"I’ve never seen anything like that," said Boecker, whose Omaha-based client has fought the state's smoking ban since its inception.

"(The state's) argument's already been rejected three times."

Though state officials didn't comment Monday, they have indicated in recent months they'll wait on a final filing from the court on the Big John's case before enforcing the ban. Boecker contends the wait is unnecessary since the filing hold-up is over attorney fees.

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