Updated: Aug 3
In other lawsuit news, the plaintiffs motioned to re-depose Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones is the alleged ringleader among the owners that designed the Kroenke-Spanos collaboration to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. He is Stan Kroenke’s strongest ally among the ownership group, and he is on the hook for punitive damages after Judge McGraugh ordered that he needed to hand over all financial records back in July. He is the alleged owner that stood up for Kroenke after Commissioner Roger Goodell asked Kroenke to leave the room the owners were meeting in last month to allow NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash to describe the repercussions from Stan Kroenke signing the indemnification clause to allow the Rams to relocate to Los Angeles. Jerry Jones might as well be considered the outspoken version of Stan Kroenke. All reports from the local St. Louis media and now the national media make it sound like Stan Kroenke acted on the NFL’s return to Los Angeles while Jerry Jones had to explain to the other 30 owners what this meant for not only Kroenke, but them as well in the form of profits, such as the relocation fees the Rams and Chargers had to pay. Jerry Jones is as much responsible for this unjustified relocation as is Stan Kroenke, which is why I believe the plaintiffs are seeking to re-depose Jerry Jones.
Lastly, the NFL motioned to keep some files and evidence confidential earlier this week in a motion in limine. A motion in limine is a pre-trial motion asking that certain evidence is found inadmissible, and that it not be referred to or offered at trial.
If the NFL is requesting this type of motion, they must know either St. Louis is not going to settle, or there is information that could harm their reputation. It sounds like, from this motion, they are trying to minimize the damage. They are like the kid who gets caught with the cookie in their mouth when the parent discovers the lid is off the jar. The NFL wants to keep confidential and hide as much information as possible from the jury when trial kick offs with opening statements on January 10th. Should the plaintiffs settle, the NFL should consider themselves lucky.
As mentioned by Wickersham, Perez, and the St. Louis media, after signing the indemnification clause, Stan Kroenke has been responsible for all attorney fees the NFL owners incurred so far, and should the NFL owners either settle or lose at trial, he must indemnify the payment that each owner makes to the plaintiffs, St. Louis, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC), and the Regional Stadium Authority (RSA). With the recent news that Stan Kroenke tried to settle at $100 million, the NFL has reasons to start motions in limine because they likely know they were caught defrauding St. Louis of an NFL franchise, the Rams. They never thought this lawsuit would still be afloat 4 and a half years later. Jerry Jones’ comments about partnering Kroenke and Spanos as co-tenants in Los Angeles and his public backing of Stan Kroenke may come back to haunt him.