Oakland Raiders v. National Football League (2007) 41 Cal.4th 624

Irving Greines and Feris Greenberger were integral players on the legal team that secured a Supreme Court decision reinstating the NFL’s jury verdict in its hard-fought litigation with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders sued the NFL over disputes connected with aborted plans for the team to return to Los Angeles. Following a lengthy trial, the jury returned a verdict for the NFL. The Raiders moved for a new trial on the ground of juror misconduct, and the parties submitted sharply conflicting declarations concerning what occurred in the jury room. The trial court ordered a new trial, but it failed to file the statement of reasons required by Code of Civil Procedure section 657.

Although ordinarily appellate review of a new trial order is limited to a deferential evaluation of whether the trial court abused its discretion, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that this situation required independent appellate review, and it agreed with the NFL that the trial court’s order could not survive that close scrutiny.

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