NFL goes to Louisiana Supreme Court to block deposition of Roger Goodell

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With Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered to testify in the lawsuit arising from the Rams-Saints NFC Championship debacle, the NFL is throwing a Hail Mary. And the Saints are trying to tip the ball in the league’s direction.

David Hammer of WWL-TV reports that the NFL has filed an appeal with the Louisiana Supreme Court aimed ostensibly at dismissing the case but as a practical matter at pulling the plug before Goodell is forced to answer questions under oath. The league’s lawyer argues that the case, if allowed to proceed, would open the floodgates for more lawsuits from disgruntled fans.

The Saints, per Hammer, have joined in the effort to get the case dismissed, filing a brief that supports the league’s motion — and that points to the expansion of replay review to include pass interference as a sufficient outcome to the situation. But the Saints, like the league, fear that this will be the first domino in an endless series over the outcome of a wide variety of sporting events.

Ultimately, the question becomes whether the Louisiana Supreme Court will entertain the effort to dismiss the case before the case is resolved by the lower courts. Without getting too deep into the legal weeds (I don’t want to put anyone to sleep before lunch), appeals courts typically look for reasons not to get involved until they have to. With the lower courts ruling that the lawsuit filed against the league contains a sufficient legal foundation to proceed, the Louisiana Supreme Court could see this for what it is — an effort to insulate Goodell from the obligation of testifying — and decline to get involved until the case proceeds to a final judgment in the lower courts.

And if Goodell ultimately is ordered to testify, the smartest move would be to make the case go away. With the plaintiff wisely limiting his demand to $75,000 in order to avoid federal-court jurisdiction and already indicating that proceeds will go to Steve Gleason’s foundation, it would be a simple and relatively inexpensive check to cut.

62 responses to “NFL goes to Louisiana Supreme Court to block deposition of Roger Goodell

  1. They will order him to testify. And he should have to explain himself more completely. Not that he will say anything new, but completely ruining the competitiveness of a NFL playoff game deserves some explanation.

  2. Godell is a horrible commissioner but he’s not the one who missed the call. This isn’t his fault. And if the Saints would have scored touchdowns instead of kicking field goals in the first half then it wouldn’t have been that close

  3. Courts have better things to do. I hope this isn’t costing the tax payers anything. Cry on your own dime.

  4. Settle and it sets a terrible precedent.

    This whole suit is bad for the game.

    If the NFL does settle, I’m curious to see when New Orleans gets another Super Bowl after 2024.

  5. As a season ticket holding Saints fan…this silliness needs to stop. A fan never really gets over something like what happened in the superdome on 1/20 but this is ridiculous. I take solace in knowing that true fans of the game know that the Satins got robbed. True fans know that if just one flag (for either egregious penalty) was thrown…Saints win, game over.

  6. So all the “Saints need to get over it” crowd can crawl back into their holes as the Saints also are trying to get the suit dismissed and want no part of it.

  7. No way you can’t allow fans who are unhappy about the outcome of a game to sue sports leagues. Otherwise there will be lawsuit after lawsuit. If I were in charge at the NFL I’m fighting this all the way to the end

  8. I just dropped in to see what condition my disposition was in.

    Yeah, Yeah, Oh-yeah, what condition my disposition was in.

  9. Taking a bad call to court, wasting time and money. What a country. People that filed this case should pay a hefty fine, so this nonsense is discouraged.

  10. In the larger scheme of things this could result in a real mess down the road. That said anything that makes Goodell squirm is not without merit. The lawyer that brought the suit is unlikely to agree to a settlement that includes a gag order which may be part of the league’s hesitancy to cut a check.

  11. This is one of the dumbest lawsuits I’eve ever heard of and should’ve already been thrown out. There is no law regarding mistakes by referees and there is no proof, or even any evidence that I’ve seen, of any conspiracy. You know if the courts allow this we’ll start seeing fans suing over missed offsides calls, etc. THROW IT OUT!!

  12. Goodell doesn’t want to have to commit perjury in court again, which he’s already had 2 judges call him out for doing. He’s afraid if he keeps it up eventually one of these judges will put him in jail for doing so

  13. One of the things that I would be interested in for the Goodell deposition would be about how referees are selected for certain games. There is no reason why the Saints/Rams game had 3 or 4 referees with ties to Los Angeles officiating that game.

  14. There is No Question Roggie Boy Purposely put in 6 Refs from the LA area to SHAVE POINTS for the Rams to win to muster up Revenue for the new LA Stadiums PSLs because the Stadium was supposed to cost 2 Billion & now that figure is 5 BILLION Goodell has 0 Integrity.

  15. yall hate on the new orleans fans now because we’re clogging up the headlines with an old story. but on the off chance this is what gets goodell fired, or better yet incarcerated at the louisiana state penitentiary at angola, you will be very grateful.

  16. The real question is why did the league decide to assign 4 out of 6 refs with ties to the Los Angeles area. If 4 out of the 7 had ties to the New Orleans area Rans fans would be up in arms. Facts

  17. “Courts have better things to do”.

    Actually, they don’t. The courts exist to resolve conflicts between the litigants. The taxpayers are paying the same amount regardless of what the controversy is or who the litigants are. In fact, the taxpayers are paying the same amount if there is nothing on the court’s docket for a day or days.

  18. cheetasnevaprospa says:
    August 8, 2019 at 11:07 am
    They will order him to testify. And he should have to explain himself more completely. Not that he will say anything new, but completely ruining the competitiveness of a NFL playoff game deserves some explanation.

    ————————

    What you want him to say? It was a bad call, plain and simple. It happens in sports. Put your big boy pants on and move on.

  19. The only way the Louisiana Supreme Court hears this case is if Louisiana law allows for interlocutory appeals, i.e., an appeal before a final lower court verdict. Most states do not allow such appeals.

  20. Just like the pick Drew threw in OT
    ============================
    Oh u mean the one when Brees got sucker punched in the face. Another deliberate no calls that sent the Rams to the Super Bowl where they had no business being in the first place

  21. Wow! They are really scared of Goodell perjuring himself. If the prosecution was smart they’d establish a pattern of lying and cheating and use the NFL’s testimony in federal court in Framegate II (Deflategate) where Goodell’s people testified under oath and US LAW, that Article 46 supersedes US law, with things such as consumer fraud like we’ve seen Goodell do by cheating certain teams (the Saints, Pats, etc) at the behest of certain arrogant, under-handed owners, while covering for many AFC teams who clearly have players who should be suspended, but magically are not.

    LOL!

    Take this cheating commissioner down once and for all! Ratings are dropping every year over his cheating!

  22. Some folk really don’t get what this is all about…it’s just a game, let it go, refs always miss calls, Saints had other opportunities, blah blah…Look we get it, all of these may be valid reasons for some…people without any financial investment…

    However…thanks to legalized gambling…this was a serious infraction and needs to be investigated…the non-call actually affected the outcome of the game…whether or not the Saints still had a shot to win the game in overtime is irrelevant…because the Rams shouldn’t have had a shot to win it…this scenario cannot happen if gambling is involved…cheating people out of an honest bet is not good for any body or any business…

  23. whysosenestive445 says:
    August 8, 2019 at 11:08 am
    Godell is a horrible commissioner but he’s not the one who missed the call. This isn’t his fault. And if the Saints would have scored touchdowns instead of kicking field goals in the first half then it wouldn’t have been that close

    60 27 Rate This

    ———————-

    You don’t get it. 2 highly paid refs standing right there “missing” TWO possible calls (PI or hit to the head) is because they were TOLD TO MISS ANY CALL LIKE THAT if it could help LA, assuming it wouldn’t be too suspicious.

    Well, each refs apparently forgot how bad that actually looks. There is a reason neither of them knew of either penalty to be called in that moment.

    Yes, Goodell is a cheater. Like MLB juices the balls and lies about it now or turned their head to roids and Congress was finally called in by 2005, this could be very similar because you;re dealing with a consumer fraud situation.

    There is likely cheating orders all over his phones, his emails, his lawyer’s phones, etc, and it’s NOT just this.

    Ya with me?

  24. 6 2 Rate This
    tylawspick6 says:
    August 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm
    Wow! They are really scared of Goodell perjuring himself. If the prosecution was smart they’d establish a pattern of lying and cheating and use the NFL’s testimony in federal court in Framegate II (Deflategate) where Goodell’s people testified under oath and US LAW, that Article 46 supersedes US law, with things such as consumer fraud like we’ve seen Goodell do by cheating certain teams (the Saints, Pats, etc) at the behest of certain arrogant, under-handed owners, while covering for many AFC teams who clearly have players who should be suspended, but magically are not.

    LOL!

    Take this cheating commissioner down once and for all! Ratings are dropping every year over his cheating!

    ————————————————————

    I don’t think you completely understand how the law works

  25. Some of you guys have an unhealthy obsession with Goodell’s demise. Maybe find a new hobby.

  26. Does this mean I can sue the NFL every time the Steelers get away with holding on Geno Atkins? Well, that’s ok I wont sue cause I’m not a giant snowflake like this guy apparently is.

  27. I cant count the number of called or not called penalties or missed fumbles ect that have directly effected games I have watched over the years. I can imagine how the Saints fans feel, but it is an unfortunate part of the game….human error. As a Raider fan we have had our fair share of fubar calls, I just cuss a little or a lot and move on.

  28. I don’t think you completely understand how the law works

    —————

    Oh yes I do…proving consumer fraud is not easy, but fraud is illegal

  29. The reason the appeals court should throw out the lawsuit is that the judge who allowed the action to proceed is an elected official. Throwing out the lawsuit would likely have caused her to be defeated when next she runs, so she let it go through even though the legal reasoning is flimsy at best. (Essentially it’s “boo-hoo, we lost, and we feel aggrieved.”) She wants to get re-elected. But the appeals court will look only at the legal aspects, not the political, and therefore will probably allow the lawsuit to proceed. An ugly precedent to be sure.

  30. Some of the commenters don’t seem to understand why there is a suit over a bad call. The NFL has a rule allowing the commissioner to order a replay of a game in “extraordinary circumstances”. An error by an employee of the league office that sends the wrong team to the Super Bowl would seem to qualify as extraordinary circumstances. So why wasn’t the rule invoked? If the wrong team playing in the Super Bowl is simply ordinary circumstances, what does Goodell consider extraordinary? Etc.

  31. tylawspick6 says:
    August 8, 2019 at 1:05 pm
    I don’t think you completely understand how the law works

    —————

    Oh yes I do…proving consumer fraud is not easy, but fraud is illegal

    ——————————————————

    You might want to check out article 6 of the constitution buddy

  32. sparky151 says:
    August 8, 2019 at 1:26 pm
    Some of the commenters don’t seem to understand why there is a suit over a bad call. The NFL has a rule allowing the commissioner to order a replay of a game in “extraordinary circumstances”. An error by an employee of the league office that sends the wrong team to the Super Bowl would seem to qualify as extraordinary circumstances. So why wasn’t the rule invoked? If the wrong team playing in the Super Bowl is simply ordinary circumstances, what does Goodell consider extraordinary? Etc.

    0 0 Rate This

    ———————–

    When is it “extraordinary”? When the commissioner himself cheats and makes it “extraordinary”.

    Note how the 3 other major N. American sports have NONE of these issues.

  33. Goodell should have to explain why refs that live in the Greater Los Angeles area were allowed to call the game…and the ref who made the non call actally played for the Rams organization in the 1980’s…

  34. I’m a Saints season ticket holder and a lawyer, and yes, I’m still pissed about the outcome of the game. It was one of the worst non calls I’ve ever seen, but I’m not ready to jump on the conspiracy bandwagon. I just don’t see the merit in the suit since the commissioner’s opinion is necessarily going to be subjective. That said, I would be interested to know why the two officials that clearly saw the play were not fired. It was not an acceptable miss. Also, responding to some earlier posts, Judges on the Appellate Court and Justices on the State Supreme Court are all elected in Louisiana.

  35. That play cost me a new condo in Miami, I’m suing! Lawsuits from sports bettors will be flooding if this case is settled.

  36. @my_old_name_was_offensive – missed/bad calls are part of the game, and hence, part of gambling. The person filing the lawsuit in an attorney, and obviously an attorney with a lot of time on his hands. He is claiming that the NFL pre-determined the outcome of the game, and directed the official to purposefully blow the call so that the Rams would win (which on it’s face is very illogical, because the Saints were winning the game after the field goal they made, and allowed the Rams to tie the game up, and also the Saints had the ball in OT and Brees threw and interception. The NFL must have some sort of mind/body control technology if they can make Brees throw a pick). The only reason this is moving forward is because Louisiana is the only state in the Union that does not follow “common law” standards (because it was originally a French territory). So, the plaintiff will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the game was fixed. Good luck! The lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with legalized gambling.

  37. The case should go forward. The grievance filed by the fans is reasonable, especially for the gamblers and the tourists. The league stole the game.

  38. Goodell should take a lesson from our current presidential administration and simply ignore any subpoena. Rules and laws don’t mean much in this country any more.

  39. It’s amazing the Saint fans STILL forget that the Rams managed to drive the field AFTER the call and have Greg-the-leg kick a 57 yard field goal, yes a 57 yard FG! NOT A CHIP shot. The Saints got a bad call, BUT their defense folded and their special teams could’nt block a long low trajectory kick. They lost.

  40. SaintsGotRobbed says:
    August 8, 2019 at 11:13 am
    As a season ticket holding Saints fan…this silliness needs to stop. A fan never really gets over something like what happened in the superdome on 1/20 but this is ridiculous. I take solace in knowing that true fans of the game know that the Satins got robbed. True fans know that if just one flag (for either egregious penalty) was thrown…Saints win, game over.

    ————–

    True fans also know the Rams were robbed before this
    True fans also know Drew Brees lost the game with his boneheaded Int

  41. If the Saints had run three times and kicked the field goal they wouldn’t have been in the situation to begin with. Poor call by referee. Even worse clock management by a professional coach

  42. I am torn here what I would want. The idea of watching Goodell squirm a witness chair is just over the top attractive. But this suit is just so wrong that I cant get myself behind it.

  43. Follow the lead of the current administration and just flip the bird at the court and not show up!

  44. This Saints fan has moved on, looking forward to the season. The lawsuit and continued crying is embarrassing. We all know Roger Goodell is an incompetent boob, but there isn’t anything he can do or could have done to fix the bad call. No conspiracy, not fixed, just a bad call.

  45. Its pretty likely the Saints would have given the Pats a better game. You really can’t say.
    It’s also likely the Saints would have simply taken the place of the Scams being the NFCs sacrificial offering the AFC.

    However, the Saints lost at Home to a team that mustered up a whole 3 points in the biggest game of the year. The Reams REALLY WERE the Scams in the SB which was a flat out embarrassment for the NFC. McVay’s deer in the headlights stare was SO telling

  46. Some people really don’t get what this is about: money. There’s way too much money out there to think that an obvious blown call was a little mistake. I think people who want to shrug this off and make light of it are an embarrassment to sports. Fair play is the only thing that keeps the game fun. If it’s not going to be called fair, and with so much on the line that numerous people’s life trajectories, jobs are changed, then what’s the point? We can watch pro wrestling for scripted matchups.

    I like that people are durpy enough to think that “it’s just a game” but it’s not, it’s jobs, it’s money, it’s livelihoods, and there was a right way and a wrong way to call the game.

    Calling Roger Goodell to the stand is a way to ask how the NFL monitors cheating by refs. I fully expect Goodell to attempt to not answer any questions, but he is under oath and if there is a way to monitor refs for payoffs, gambling, or something else then that’s very interesting and something he can testify about. If the NFL is not doing those things, keeping the refs in check, then they are not meeting a minimum standard of negligence in maintaining a fair league, and they are therefore allowing fans to be misled. So it’s possible negligence at the very least in my opinion.

  47. californianewton says:
    August 8, 2019 at 5:21 pm
    It is a frivolous lawsuit. It is a waste of taxpayer money.

    it’s not a waste of tax payer money. A waste of taxpayer money is giving stadiums out for free, doing flyovers, asking for freebie security for events, and tax breaks. Learning whether the NFL is defrauding fans is actually a really good use of taxpayer money since all these other taxpayer expenses are lumped on top of it.

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