City Of Oakland v. Oakland Raiders, NFL Lawsuit: Who’s Who As League Issues Loser Argument

Jim QuinnJim Quinn




(Last Updated On: March 23, 2019)

The Raiders Las Vegas Relocation allowed by the National Football League two years ago spawned the anti-trust lawsuit of the City Of v. Raiders and the NFL that was continued Friday, after getting started March 1st.

Contrary to mainstream media reports, the Raiders filed a motion to dismiss the case on March 1st as did the NFL itself, then expected an answer from the judge on March 22nd, but that’s been moved back to June 7th, and with the City Of filing its response by April 7th.

And on that note, something else: the NFL and the Raiders are basically firing up the same loser argument used in the “motion to dismiss” entered in the St. Louis lawsuit: that is that the NFL relocation rules are not a contract.

In St. Louis, Missouri Circuit Court, that judge wrote this:

Plaintiffs allege that The Rams, the NFL, its member teams, and their owners did not comply with the Relocation Policy, and thereby breached their contractual obligations of diligence and good faith to the detriment of Plaintiffs, who are third party beneficiaries of the Relocation Policy.1 Clearly, Plaintiffs allege facts that give rise to a breach of an enforceable contract. Defendants’ arguments rely on facts outside the pleadings which are beyond what the Court may consider on a motion to dismiss. The Court finds Plaintiffs have stated a claim for breach of contract.

Since the City of ’s argument is basically a mirror image of the St. Louis one, it’s hard to see how the San Francisco Judge comes up with a different conclusion. The fact is, the NFL had a kind of playbook for this fake idea of a team building a stadium in its home market, which it was all for the Rams and the Raiders relocating.

The problem for the Rams and the Raiders is the other clubs were on the sidelines cheering, while those two teams took the lead in, allegedly, misleading St.Louis and , respectively . Therefore, when you hear NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell leave it to the Raiders to answer a question, that’s the league’s legal strategy at work.

Oakland Raiders New Coliseum Stadium Design At Night

Oakland Raiders New Coliseum Stadium Design At Night by MEIS Architects

Cleaning Up Media Misinformation A Plenty

Since there has been mainstream media misinformation about this case, I thought I’d swoop in to clean up the mess. Let’s start with who’s who in this – but I have to get this off my chest: the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda committed $350 million in public money for the plan to build a stadium for the Oakland Raiders. Reports that the City of Oakland had no public money in the deal are completely wrong.

The City Of Oakland Has Its Own Army Of Lawyers Involved

Hopefully, you’re not thinking the City Of Oakland’s walking in with just three legal representatives led by Barbara Parker and James Quinn? The truth is far afield from that. The City Of Oakland’s legal team consists of 13 main lawyers. They are as follows:

Barbara J. Parker
Oakland City Attorney’s Office
She’s marked as “LEAD ATTORNEY – ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED”

Clifford H. Pearson
Pearson, Simon & Warshaw LLP
Also marked as LEAD ATTORNEY – ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

Benjamin Ernest Shiftan
Pearson Simon & Warshaw, LLP
Marked as as ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED, as are the others…

Bronwyn M. James
Berg and Androphy

Bruce Lee Simon
Pearson Simon & Warshaw, LLP

Chris L. Sprengle
Berg and Androphy

Daniel L. Warshaw
Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP

David Berg
Berg & Androphy

James W. Quinn
Berg & Androphy – pictured and had been lead lawyer prior to assembly of official legal team.

Jenny H. Kim
Berg and Androphy

Matthew A. Pearson
Pearson, Simon & Warshaw LLP

Michael M. Fay
Berg and Androphy

Michael Harrison Pearson
Pearson Simon & Warshaw, LLP

So that’s 13 main lawyers (not including paralegals, and support staff), and three legal organizations spread over four cities (Oakland, New York, Sherman Oaks, CA, and San Francisco) that are involved.

Also, important to note this lawsuit is not paid for by the City of Oakland, and the County of Alameda’s not at all officially involved. (Which, I personally think is a really whacked approach on the part of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which has played a giant role in this sports legal opera and stands to gain from the City of Oakland’s work.)

The Oakland Raiders / NFL’s Team Is Smaller Than The City Of Oakland’s Team

For the Oakland Raiders and the National Football League, we have the following cast of folks that includes four Raiders lawyers, then six attorneys representing all of the National Football League’s 32 teams. Here’s the roster:

Daniel B. Asimow
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Marked as LEAD ATTORNEY – ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

Jonathan I. Gleklen
Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Marked as ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED, as are the following…

Sean F. Howell
Covington Burling

William J. Baer
Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

For the lawyers defending the NFL Clubs, we have the following people listed:

John Edward Hall
Covington & Burling LLP
Marked as – LEAD ATTORNEY, ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

Benjamin John Razi
Covington and Burling LLP

Daniel B. Asimow
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP – serving double-duty, NFL and the Raiders

Derek Ludwin
Covington and Burling LLP

Gregg H. Levy
Covington Burling

Sean F. Howell
Covington Burling – serving double-duty, NFL and the Raiders

City Of Oakland Lawsuit Started With Oakland’s Filing For Damages And Proposed Summons In December Of 2018

According to the court records, on December 11, 2018, the City of Oakland paid $400 to the U.S. District Court, California Northern District (San Francisco), and to file a complaint against the Oakland Raiders and The NFL, and with over 300 pages of exhibits. That same day, the case was given to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero and marked “CASE#: 3:18-cv-07444-JCS.”

The filing, which I have a copy of, starts with the “NFL Bylaws and Constitution” and ends with the “Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations” – indicating the plaintiff’s (Oakland’s) desire to show the NFL wasn’t even going by its own rules in allowing the Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas.

On December 19th 2018, summons were issued to each NFL team, leading to this rather hilariously long entry in the case history portal: Summons Issued as to Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Atlanta Falcons Football Club, LLC, Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership, Buccaneers Team LLC, Buffalo Bills, LLC, Chargers Football Company, LLC, Chicago Bears Football Club, Inc., Cincinnati Bengals, Inc., Cleveland Browns Football Company LLC, Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Ltd., Detroit Lions, Inc., Football Northwest LLC, Forty Niners Football Company LLC, Green Bay Packers, Inc., Houston NFL Holdings, LP, Indianapolis Colts, Inc., Jacksonville Jaguars, LLC, Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc.,, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC, National Football League, New England Patriots LLC, New Orleans Louisiana Saints, LLC, New York Football Giants, Inc.., New York Jets LLC, Oakland Raiders, PDB Sports, Ltd., Panthers Football, LLC, Philadelphia Eagles, LLC, Pittsburgh Steelers LLC, Pro-Football, Inc., Rams Football Company, LLC, Tennessee Football, Inc.. (gbaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/19/2018) (Entered: 12/19/2018)

Motion To Dismiss Hearing Set For June 7th 2019, 9:30 AM

The Oakland Raiders and NFL’s Motion to Dismiss hearing is set for June 9th 2019. If I were the Raiders, given the tide against them and the NFL, I’d withdraw the motion. There is no logical reason for Judge Spero to support it. Note: logical.

Stay tuned.

About the Author

Zennie Abraham
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media

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