Minnesota judge Richard Kyle has ordered the NFLPA’s appeal on behalf of Tom Brady to be transferred to Manhattan, where the NFL first filed its own lawsuit, tweets Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal. The decision tips the scales in the league’s favor, since Minnesota courts are typically viewed as more labor-friendly and have ruled in favor of the NFLPA in the past.
As Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets, Judge Kyle found there was no reason for the case to have been filed in Minnesota, since the NFL is headquartered in New York, the arbitration proceedings took place in New York, and the award was issued in New York. Since the league also knew better than the NFLPA when Roger Goodell’s decision would be announced, it was able to gets its lawsuit in ahead of the union’s, and Kyle cited the “first-filed” rule when making his decision.
While the ruling is considered a positive sign for the league, it’s not necessarily all bad for the union. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Judge Kyle was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, a Republican, while New York judge Richard M. Berman was appointed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. Democratic judges are generally believed to be more philosophically aligned with labor and individuals, rather than management, so Judge Berman figures to give Brady and the NFLPA a fair shake.
The NFLPA plans to refile its lawsuit against the league on behalf of Brady in Manhattan today, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network (via Twitter).