Court fireworks, but Burning Man deal likely done

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Organizers of the annual weeklong celebration of self-expression and eclectic art known as Burning Man and a Nevada county where it is held thought they had resolved their legal dispute over the festival.

And they hoped to get the blessing of a federal judge overseeing the case, and asked him to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this week. Instead, they got an earful from U.S. District Senior Judge Robert C. Jones, and threats that the lawyers in the case should either go back to law school or be disbarred.

Exactly what in the agreement between festival organizers and Pershing County lawyers prompted Jones' criticism was unclear, though he said the agreement amounted to malpractice.

"You committed virtually a fraud on the federal court and the county commission," Jones said. He said he'll file complaints with the state bar association against all lawyers involved.

The two sides, however, believe they still have an agreement in their year-old legal battle over regulation of the annual event leading up to Labor Day in the Black Rock Desert, about 100 miles north of Reno.

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