Undeterred, Flynt Vows to Keep Up Struggle for Slots

Larry Flynt hasn't turned in his chips yet. The Hustler publisher recently lost his case in San Francisco Superior Court over the right to add slot machines and house gambling games at his two Gardena venues, Hustler Casino and Normandie Casino.

Flynt last year sued the California Gambling Control Commission and state Attorney General Bill Lockyer, claiming he has the same right to offer slot machines and house gambling games as American Indians.

"Our casinos have a place to play these card games in a style similar to a Las Vegas casino, but we'd like slot machines and the same games Indians can offer," said Michael Franchetti, the Sacramento attorney representing Flynt. "Those are more lucrative and more attractive."

The two casinos in Gardena offer poker-type card games where players bet against each other but not the house.

In his Jan. 24 ruling, state Judge David Garcia ruled that the "right to conduct the forms of gaming at issue here is limited to federally recognized Indian tribes, all of which are political entities not similarly situated to plaintiffs' private businesses or any others."

Franchetti said Flynt plans to appeal and if necessary go to the California Supreme Court.

Familiar Face At Manatt

Steve Nissen is back at Manatt Phelps & Phillips after 25 years in public service, including a stint as an assistant to Gov. Gray Davis.

Nissen, who started at Manatt Phelps in 1977 as a trial attorney, now returns as partner in the litigation and advocacy division. He said he wanted to get back to private work in order to spend more time with his three kids. He also wanted to come back to Los Angeles, where he most recently was president and executive director of Public Counsel, which provides legal aid to low income individuals.

He moved to San Francisco in 1997 to become executive director of the State Bar of California, and left two years later to become senior special assistant to the Governor.

Legal Squabbles

The former head of Arter & Hadden LLP's California Governmental Affairs Practice is suing the firm for $1.2 million in unpaid commissions.

Edwin Marzec, who was a partner at the firm's Los Angeles office between March 1998 and April 2001, said in the suit that he was to be paid 45 percent of receivables from the practice, on top of his salary. While the firm paid the salary, and about $48,000 in commissions, Marzec claims he was owed $1.2 million more, said Peter Appleton, the Los Angeles attorney representing Marzec.

Marzec is suing for breach of contract after the firm laid off him and several other attorneys in 2001, the suit said.

Arter & Hadden spokesman Bruce Vincent said nationwide managing partner Mark Solomon declined comment until he had read the lawsuit.

Staff Reporter Amanda Bronstad can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 225 or at abronstad@labusinessjournal.com.

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