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The Paul, Weiss Litigation Department is led by a team of the country’s most accomplished trial lawyers. Our litigators handle the most complex and demanding lawsuits, class actions, government investigations, criminal prosecutions and restructurings. Our clients include Fortune 50 corporations and other prominent companies in the financial services, investment, medical device, pharmaceutical, sports, technology, energy, media and insurance industries. Every day, we are called on by chief executives, board chairs, general counsel, investors and entrepreneurs for our unmatched trial skills, sophisticated business judgment and renowned strategic advice.

NFL Wins Appeal Compelling Former Coach Gruden to Arbitration in Email Scandal Dispute

Paul, Weiss achieved a major victory when the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was required to arbitrate his claims against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, reversing the lower court’s decision denying the NFL’s motion to compel arbitration.

In October 2021, Gruden resigned as the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach following the Wall Street Journal’s publication of certain racist, homophobic and sexist emails that Gruden wrote. In November 2021, Gruden filed a lawsuit in Nevada state court against the NFL and Commissioner Goodell, alleging that the NFL and the Commissioner intentionally leaked, or failed to prevent the leak of, his emails.

We filed a motion to dismiss Gruden’s claims, as well as a motion to compel the claims to arbitration under both the NFL constitution and Gruden’s former employment contract with the Raiders. Both motions were denied. On appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, we successfully argued that Gruden was compelled to arbitrate his claims under the NFL constitution, which grants the Commissioner “full, complete, and final jurisdiction and authority to arbitrate” any dispute “involving” employees of the NFL’s member clubs “that in the opinion of the Commissioner constitutes conduct detrimental to the best interests of the League or professional football.”

The Nevada Supreme Court accepted all of our arguments regarding the NFL’s constitution on appeal, including that the constitution’s arbitration provision survived the termination of Gruden’s employment with the Raiders, and that any one of “Gruden’s emails, his accusations against the NFL, or the actions by the NFL Parties described in [Gruden’s] complaint” constituted “conduct detrimental” to the league under the constitution’s arbitration provision. The Nevada Supreme Court rejected Gruden’s argument that the Commissioner’s “jurisdiction” over the arbitration rendered the provision unconscionable, explaining that Gruden was a “sophisticated party” and that arbitrator bias is reviewable post-arbitration, if necessary.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partners Brad Karp, Kannon Shanmugam and Lynn Bayard.

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