A Wee Dram for Naught

In his 1785 poem Scotch Drink, the great Robert Burns urged displacement of lawyers by alternative dispute resolution in the form of alcoholic beverage:

When neibors anger at a plea,

An’ just as wud as wud can be,

How easy can the barley brie

Cement the quarrel!

It’s aye the cheapest lawyer’s fee,

To taste the barrel

 It didn’t work out that well for the plaintiff in Esposito v Rail Bar & Grill Corp, decided 2/20/2019 by the Appellate Division, Second Department.

Espositio got into a verbal disagreement with Kral in the defendant bar. Espositio then bought Kral a drink. It seems that didn’t patch things up, because “tensions . . . erupted again” leading to an altercation with Kral and another person.

Espositio sued the bar, claiming Dram Shop Act violations because Kral was too intoxicated to be served.

Alas, not only did Espoito’s generosity fail to “cement the quarrel”, it also put him out of court, since “plaintiff’s procurement of the allegedly unlawful drink for Karl precludes the plaintiff from recovering under the Dram Shop Act.”