Las Vegas Limo Case Heads to Trial
After two years of delays and requests for continuances from the lawyers representing Nevada’s Transportation Services Authority (TSA), the Las Vegas limousine case is finally scheduled to go to trial on February 12. The Institute for Justice represents a group of independent entrepreneurs who seek to break open the government-imposed limousine cartel in Las Vegas, where a nakedly arbitrary licensing regime gives the TSA virtually unfettered discretion to grant or deny applications for new service. As a result of this scheme, Las Vegas is dominated by a handful of powerful transportation companies who have enforced a strict “no entry/no compete” policy against would-be independent operators for more than 20 years.
The stakes went up dramatically last June when three cartel members concluded that the Nevada Attorney General’s Office was being “outmanned” by IJ attorneys Dana Berliner and Clark Neily. After obtaining permission from the trial court judge to intervene in the lawsuit, lawyers for the “Big Three” cartel members stepped in and treated Rich Lowre, Bil Clutter and the other plaintiffs in this case to the very same tactics of delay, harassment and intimidation that they have used successfully against small startup companies for years. But the TSA and the Big Three discovered that they had met their match when Rich, Bil and other independent operators teamed up with the Institute for Justice to take on the system. Viva Las Vegas!