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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Jon Gruden’s Ongoing Legal Battle Against the NFL Faces Uncertain Timeline

  • The former Raiders coach sued the NFL in November 2021 following his resignation over leaked emails.
  • A year after the NFL filed an appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court has not scheduled a hearing.
Jon Gruden
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Gruden filed his lawsuit against the NFL nearly two years ago, and his case as the former Las Vegas Raiders coach remains far from a resolution.

Last October, the NFL filed a notice of appeal after setbacks in District Court Judge Nancy Allf’s courtroom — including a denial to compel arbitration sought by the league  — and briefing was completed in May. Allf also denied the NFL’s motion to dismiss Gruden’s lawsuit. 

That began the waiting game, with the only movement being a three-judge panel of the Nevada Supreme Court choosing to hear the case. 

The Nevada Supreme Court hasn’t signaled when that could be, although Reno-based attorney Alex Velto said the court usually sets an oral arguments hearing a month out after issuing an order for arguments. And even if a hearing were to take place in November, Velto added a decision isn’t typically released for months afterward. 

“It takes a long time,” said Velto, an associate with the firm Hutchison & Steffen. “It’s not uncommon for there not to be arguments for months after briefings are completed, and even after there are oral arguments, it takes the Justices a few months to write and release an opinion.”

Gruden alleged in the lawsuit the NFL leaked the racist, misogynistic, and homophobic emails that led to his resignation in October 2022. The NFL has denied being the source. 

Gruden sued the NFL a month later, seeking the balance of his 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders signed in 2018, minus an undisclosed settlement with the Raiders.

The NFL faces a challenging task to overturn Allf’s denial of arbitration. If they fail, the stay in the case will be lifted, and the case will return to Allf’s court, where it will advance toward trial.

“You’re always in a better position on appeal when you have won in district court,”  said Velto, who clerked for Nevada Supreme Court Justice James W.  Hardesty. “Judge Allf is a very good judge. She’s very well respected. But, at the same time, there are great lawyers on both sides of this appeal, so it’s difficult to say how the Supreme Court will rule.” 

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