DC AG files collusion lawsuit against Commanders, Goodell and the NFL

Awesome Fossum

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As a non-lawyer ... I guess I don't get it? Collusion to deceive regarding an independent investigation? Maybe I missed this episode of Law & Order.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Hell, this could be at long last Bye Bye Goodell.
This was my thought as well. Snyder knew he was in for and this is why the announcement about hiring a bank to sell the team.

This is the first direct implication we've seen of Goodell, but I wonder who forces him out. This is actually another case where the rest of the owners get to use him as a shield and scapegoat. The question is whether he's Chris Carter's infamous fall guy as well.
 

jsinger121

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This was my thought as well. Snyder knew he was in for and this is why the announcement about hiring a bank to sell the team.

This is the first direct implication we've seen of Goodell, but I wonder who forces him out. This is actually another case where the rest of the owners get to use him as a shield and scapegoat. The question is whether he's Chris Carter's infamous fall guy as well.
Jerry Jones. Plus owners don’t want to be dragged into court as well and use resources to defend themselves due to this asshole snyder.
 

Yaz4Ever

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just checked my lunch box and found a pack of microwave popcorn. will enjoy reading this thread for the next 5 hours at work
 

cornwalls@6

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When the Feds initiate civil litigation like this, what’s the end game for them? Expediting the team being sold? Monetary damages? The league firing Rog? All or none of the above?
 

E5 Yaz

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When the Feds initiate civil litigation like this, what’s the end game for them? Expediting the team being sold? Monetary damages? The league firing Rog? All or none of the above?
Forcing them to trade Carson Wentz
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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As a non-lawyer ... I guess I don't get it? Collusion to deceive regarding an independent investigation? Maybe I missed this episode of Law & Order.
We'll have to read the complaint, and public honesty statutes can be broad, but this is my reaction too. What's the claim?

If it were a federal EEO complaint or something, that would be different -- but maybe there is a "state" (district) regulatory equivalent.

IANAL but how does the District have standing for a team that plays in Maryland?
I doubt they will have much trouble finding acts that occurred in or had an impact in the district.
 

joe dokes

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When the Feds initiate civil litigation like this, what’s the end game for them? Expediting the team being sold? Monetary damages? The league firing Rog? All or none of the above?
It's not really the Feds. That would've been the USAtty for DC. This is local DC gov't. (Yes, *all* DC is fed, but there is a local government).
 

johnmd20

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Ryen Rusillo had Wichersham on his podcast on October 21st. He basically laid out the entire Synder thing (and all the ways he lied, cheated and stole) and once you get done listening to it, you will be absolutely horrified about the NFL and Synder and Goodell.

Needless to say, they have the receipts because even Wickersham had them. It's a great podcast.
 

JCizzle

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Ryen Rusillo had Wichersham on his podcast on October 21st. He basically laid out the entire Synder thing (and all the ways he lied, cheated and stole) and once you get done listening to it, you will be absolutely horrified about the NFL and Synder and Goodell.

Needless to say, they have the receipts because even Wickersham had them. It's a great podcast.
Yeah, that was a great listen. IIRC, at points they even acknowledged glossing over major scandals or half forgot them simply because there's so much.
 

johnmd20

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I have ESPN and NFL Network on with two of my side TVs.

ESPN, only covering this story.

NFL Network is covering Jeff Saturday.
 

ifmanis5

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Did John Henry's asking price just go down by a few million?

Here is the video of the announcement.
View: https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1590775133555363916

NEW: D.C. AG Karl Racine is suing the Washington Commanders, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for allegedly "colluding to deceive" customers about their investigation into workplace culture. "All of that deception was done to protect their profits."
 

Cellar-Door

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When the Feds initiate civil litigation like this, what’s the end game for them? Expediting the team being sold? Monetary damages? The league firing Rog? All or none of the above?
Not the Feds, this is the AG of the District.


IANAL but how does the District have standing for a team that plays in Maryland?
Easily, they transact a ton of business in DC, they advertise in DC, they list their home market as DC, and more, it's in the complaint.

We'll have to read the complaint, and public honesty statutes can be broad, but this is my reaction too. What's the claim?

If it were a federal EEO complaint or something, that would be different -- but maybe there is a "state" (district) regulatory equivalent.
They're going with Unfair or Deceptive trade practices under DC code 28-3904
 

ifmanis5

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It's a pipedream, but what a huge improvement the league would have if both Snyder and Goodell had to be forced out at the same time.
 

moretsyndrome

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This does some like one of those Law and Order episodes where McCoy tries some 'creative' method of connecting the dots to nail someone and Schiff just shakes his head and says something sarcastic like "Go ahead. I was getting tired of having this job anyway."

But it worked sometimes. Here's hoping.
 

Prodigal Sox

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Any other good markets for an NFL team?

Maybe buyers in such a market have a better chance now.
Interesting point. Snyder has basically ruined the brand and the fan base. A significant portion have just become Ravens fans due to their success the last 20 years. Moving to another market may be in the cards.

This is where dcmissle is really missed. He would have a some intriguing viewpoints I'm sure.
 

johnmd20

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Interesting point. Snyder has basically ruined the brand and the fan base. A significant portion have just become Ravens fans due to their success the last 20 years. Moving to another market may be in the cards.

This is where dcmissle is really missed. He would have a some intriguing viewpoints I'm sure.
dcmissile is missed under any and all circumstances.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The complaint is interesting. Very well written. Clever theory. It's not really about getting relief.

The first major drama in the case could be when they seek discovery from Wilkinson, assuming the complaint survives a motion. She will have to claim privilege. But I assume that will be met with the District calling on the league to waive privilege. The league won't of course. And they will make up bullshit why they aren't, hoping it will pass muster and people won't give a shit, and they probably won't. But it will be another chance to expose the league's hypocrisy.
 

Bread of Yaz

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The complaint is interesting. Very well written. Clever theory. It's not really about getting relief.

The first major drama in the case could be when they seek discovery from Wilkinson, assuming the complaint survives a motion. She will have to claim privilege. But I assume that will be met with the District calling on the league to waive privilege. The league won't of course. And they will make up bullshit why they aren't, hoping it will pass muster and people won't give a shit, and they probably won't. But it will be another chance to expose the league's hypocrisy.
I am a DMV resident, enjoyed the glory years of Joe Gibbs, and hate the current iteration of the WFT with the passion of 1000 suns. But the case seems weak to this litigator. I think the main defense would be that materiality is lacking: misstatements about the Wilkinson investigation would not be a motivating factor in the decision of a fan to buy a ticket to the games. They will assert that fans go to the games for entertainment value of watching the team play, that what the team did or said to minimize the strength of the inquiry didn't influence those decisions, and that no misstatements were made about, for example, the quality or health of the players.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I am a DMV resident, enjoyed the glory years of Joe Gibbs, and hate the current iteration of the WFT with the passion of 1000 suns. But the case seems weak to this litigator. I think the main defense would be that materiality is lacking: misstatements about the Wilkinson investigation would not be a motivating factor in the decision of a fan to buy a ticket to the games. They will assert that fans go to the games for entertainment value of watching the team play, that what the team did or said to minimize the strength of the inquiry didn't influence those decisions, and that no misstatements were made about, for example, the quality or health of the players.
The complaint is vague about what the goods and services are. I suppose you can make the argument that what the team and the league sell are not just tickets to games, but a product that is purchased by consumers in the form of their eyeballs, which is converted by the team and league into billions.

I just did some goofing around on westlaw, and it looks as though there are DC cases that say that materiality is ordinarily a question for the finder of fact. So the NFL would have to show that no reasonable person would give a shit about the team's treatment of women in deciding whether to consume the goods and services. There is definitely a motion for summary judgment there, but not a motion to dismiss and I think that's enough to get to some discovery. There also seems to be a principle in consumer fraud law that materiality and misleading are connected in the sense that it's right to ask -- if nobody cares why did you lie?
 

nattysez

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I am a DMV resident, enjoyed the glory years of Joe Gibbs, and hate the current iteration of the WFT with the passion of 1000 suns. But the case seems weak to this litigator. I think the main defense would be that materiality is lacking: misstatements about the Wilkinson investigation would not be a motivating factor in the decision of a fan to buy a ticket to the games. They will assert that fans go to the games for entertainment value of watching the team play, that what the team did or said to minimize the strength of the inquiry didn't influence those decisions, and that no misstatements were made about, for example, the quality or health of the players.
That's my impression as well. Unfair competition statutes like the one the AG is relying upon are the refuge of scoundrels/clever lawyers. When you're mad but can't find a specific law that the person who wronged you violated, you try to assert a claim under the unfair competition clause.

The complaint is vague about what the goods and services are. I suppose you can make the argument that what the team and the league sell are not just tickets to games, but a product that is purchased by consumers in the form of their eyeballs, which is converted by the team and league into billions.

I just did some goofing around on westlaw, and it looks as though there are DC cases that say that materiality is ordinarily a question for the finder of fact. So the NFL would have to show that no reasonable person would give a shit about the team's treatment of women in deciding whether to consume the goods and services. There is definitely a motion for summary judgment there, but not a motion to dismiss and I think that's enough to get to some discovery. There also seems to be a principle in consumer fraud law that materiality and misleading are connected in the sense that it's right to ask -- if nobody cares why did you lie?
I have to wonder if that's the real goal here -- make Snyder and Goodell squirm by seeking their depositions. Rich guys with lots to hide will pay hefty settlements to avoid being deposed -- just ask Elon Musk.
 

B H Kim

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Any other good markets for an NFL team?

Maybe buyers in such a market have a better chance now.
The NFL would do everything in its power to keep the franchise in DC. When the team and ownership are good, the degree of local fanatic devotion to this team is like nothing I’ve ever seen (and one reason I’ve actively rooted against them since I moved here in the late 80’s). They’ve lost a lot of support, particularly among kids (consistent with another comment, I saw a hell of a lot more Ravens jerseys than WFT jerseys in the last couple of years among local kids here in Montgomery County), but I think that a return to competent ownership can win a lot of fans back.
 

EvilEmpire

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I'm sure that's true.

But I also don't think the NFL cares much for the local AG broadening the scope of their actions beyond Snyder. The NFL likes their politicians to be friendly and compliant. Enough to facilitate a team moving from a good market? In this case I agree with you, almost certainly not. But I wouldn't be surprised if that chance is a little higher than the zero it was a week ago.

Edit: but yeah, my original comment was a bit TIC.
 

joe dokes

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The NFL would do everything in its power to keep the franchise in DC. When the team and ownership are good, the degree of local fanatic devotion to this team is like nothing I’ve ever seen (and one reason I’ve actively rooted against them since I moved here in the late 80’s). They’ve lost a lot of support, particularly among kids (consistent with another comment, I saw a hell of a lot more Ravens jerseys than WFT jerseys in the last couple of years among local kids here in Montgomery County), but I think that a return to competent ownership can win a lot of fans back.
Query whether lobbying in the 2020s allows as much high-end ticket-providing as it did during the salad days at RFK.
 

axx

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The NFL would do everything in its power to keep the franchise in DC. When the team and ownership are good, the degree of local fanatic devotion to this team is like nothing I’ve ever seen (and one reason I’ve actively rooted against them since I moved here in the late 80’s). They’ve lost a lot of support, particularly among kids (consistent with another comment, I saw a hell of a lot more Ravens jerseys than WFT jerseys in the last couple of years among local kids here in Montgomery County), but I think that a return to competent ownership can win a lot of fans back.
The team isn't in DC though.

You could argue that since DC Pols love to grandstand... that there's a decent argument for not going back into DC with a new stadium. Esp if you are talking about Bezos.
 

mauf

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