Crave's 'nuisance' hearing proves no movement - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Crave's 'nuisance' hearing proves no movement

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

It probably worked out for the best for a beleaguered Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter.

On a wacky Friday, Judge Potter was exhausted after going head to head with various outspoken defendants who he had to threaten with jail time.

Then came the contingent of attorneys in the Club Crave case.

Mercifully, Potter's day would end in a whimper.

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The "Soul Train Scramble Board" spelling outside the doors belied the dysfunctional going on inside Judge Potter's courtroom late Friday afternoon.

The assignment for the handful of lawyers in attendance was to work out a possible trial date as the city seeks to keep closed the controversial Beale Street nightspot Club Crave. But, minus the property owner, Memphis businessman George Miller and with newly retained attorney Ed Bearman still getting caught up to speed with his client, the club's owner Randy Williams, movement on the case was non-existent.

In a battle of personal palm pilots, scheduling one specific date proved so difficult, the whole proceeding when all the attorneys would be available, was put off until Monday, Jan. 7, when it will be decided behind closed doors in Judge Potter's chambers.

"It's not frustrating to me," said Robert Wampler, Miller's attorney. "It's frustrating that we can't resolve it quickly because there's lots of conflicts involved. I think that we will at some point. But, we can't today."

But, city assistant attorney Rob Ratton did drop a hint some negotiations between all parties were underway. However, while those talks might be in their infancy, publicly the city administration and county prosecutors were still sounding the same hardline rhetoric.

The club stays closed and building will eventually be demolished.

"Obviously, what disturbs us most about this one and other clubs is the violence that's occurring there," said Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Paul Hagerman. "I can tell you that our goals remain what the mayor and our District Attorney Ms. (Amy) Weirich said."

But, outside the case, there are people making it known they'd like to break the impasse by offering up differing solutions other than tearing down the high-priced structure. A petition drive to save the 380 Beale location appears to be picking up steam. If that's the case would any of the interested parties be interested in incorporating some of those ideas into their negotiations?

"Ideas are always welcome," Hagerman said. "We're listening and have people contact our office in the past about various clubs and nuisance actions with alternative ideas and uses for buildings and stuff like that. We always ... we're always listening."

Meanwhile, FOX13 News figured out the perfect anagram to describe the Miller's frustration in environmental court - "No More Rent."

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