Jim Bennett Presents Oral Argument to the Supreme Court of Missouri
In July 2009, St. Louis County and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission filed suit against a group of online travel companies. They alleged the companies contracted with hotel and motel operators to secure guest rooms at discounted rates; sold the rooms to third-party travelers at marked-up rates; and violated Missouri law by not collecting local hotel taxes on the difference between the marked-up rates and the discounted rates. The trial court granted the online travel companies’ motion to dismiss the case after the Missouri legislature passed House Bill 1442, which specifically exempts online travel companies from the tax.
On April 5, 2011, Jim Bennett presented argument to the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of the online travel companies in the case. A recording of the oral argument and the briefs of the parties may be found by visiting the Supreme Court case summary.
On June 28, 2011, the Missouri Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming the trial court’s dismissal of the case against the online travel companies. The Court’s decision received nationwide media attention, including coverage by Forbes Magazine and MSNBC.