Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden loses bid for state high court reconsideration in NFL emails lawsuit

LAS VEGAS — Jon Gruden lost a bid Monday for three Nevada Supreme Court justices to reconsider whether a lawsuit he filed against the NFL over emails leaked to the media before he resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders should be heard in court or in private arbitration.

Attorneys for Gruden, the league and an NFL spokesman didn’t respond to messages after a two-word order — “Rehearing denied” — was posted on a court website. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Gruden will seek a hearing before the entire seven-member state high court.

Gruden’s lawyers sought a rehearing after the three-justice panel split in a May 14 decision that said the league can move the civil contract interference and conspiracy case out of state court and into arbitration that might be overseen by one of the defendants, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Gruden’s lawsuit, filed in November 2021, alleges Goodell and the league forced him to resign from the Raiders by leaking racist, sexist and homophobic emails that he sent years earlier when he was at ESPN.

The two-justice majority said Gruden understood the NFL constitution allowed for arbitration to resolve disputes, and said it wasn’t clear whether Goodell or a designated third-party arbitrator would hear Gruden’s case.

The dissenting justice wrote that it would be “outrageous” for Goodell to arbitrate a dispute in which he is a named defendant.

Gruden was the Raiders’ head coach when the team moved in 2020 to Las Vegas from Oakland, California. He left the team in November 2021 with more than six seasons remaining on his record 10-year, $100 million contract.

The league appealed to the state high court after a judge in Las Vegas decided in May 2022 that Gruden’s claim that the league intentionally leaked only his documents could show evidence of “specific intent” or an act designed to cause a particular result.

Gruden was with ESPN when the emails were sent from 2011 to 2018 to former Washington Commanders executive Bruce Allen. They were found amid some 650,000 emails the league obtained during a workplace culture investigation of the Washington team.

Gruden is seeking monetary damages, alleging that selective disclosure of the emails and their publication by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times destroyed his career and scuttled endorsement contracts.

Gruden had previously coached in the NFL from 1990 to 2008, including stints in Oakland and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom he led to a Super Bowl title in 2003. He spent several years as a TV analyst for ESPN before being hired by the Raiders again in 2018.



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