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Quentin Batalillon

General News 2024

The chairman threatens to dismiss the Sunday Ticket case again

The judge who already dismissed the Sunday Ticket class action against the NFL could dismiss it again.

As explained by Joe Reedy of the Associated Press, Tuesday’s proceedings included a public exchange (without the jury present) between the judge and the attorneys about how the case was being handled.

And Judge Phillip Gutierrez is not a fan of the way the plaintiffs’ lawyers are proceeding.

“The way you tried this case is far from simple,” Gutierrez told the lawyer representing the prosecutors. “This case has turned into 25 hours of depositions and bullshit. . . . This case has went in a direction that it shouldn’t have gone.” (Editor’s Note: For the first time in the history of the PFT, there is a series of days of articles using the term “gobbledygook‘ has reached two.)

The exchange took place Tuesday morning before Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones resumed his testimony.

“I have difficulty with the plaintiffs’ case,” Judge Gutierrez said.

His attitude toward the lawsuit is no surprise. After submitting it, he rejected it. (The appeals court reversed his decision.) More recently, however, he denied the NFL’s motion for summary judgment, meaning he decided there were genuine material issues that needed to be resolved by a jury, thus throwing out the case be decided without a trial.

Gutierrez is now threatening to issue a judgment as a legal matter for the NFL. This would mean that (in the judge’s opinion) the plaintiffs failed to present sufficient evidence to support a jury verdict in their favor.

Gutierrez was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 and earned the assignment because he had a reputation for promoting conservative causes, including having a natural pro-business bent. Not surprisingly, he isn’t warm and fuzzy about the plaintiffs’ case.

That said, judges rarely cancel a jury’s efforts this far into the trial. Judge Gutierrez may have simply been trying to get the attorneys representing the plaintiffs to move the cases along more quickly than they ever have.

If the jury finds in favor of the NFL, the judge does not have to intervene. If the plaintiffs win, the judge could still issue a legal ruling in favor of the NFL after the trial.

Maybe so, based on his comments on Tuesday.