CJ threatens to dismiss Sunday ticket case again

A judge who already threw out a Sunday ticket class action against the NFL could throw it out again.

As Joe Reedy of the Associated Press explained, Tuesday’s proceedings included an open-court exchange (without a jury present) between the judge and attorneys about the way the case was tried.

Judge Philip Gutierrez is not a fan of the way the plaintiffs’ lawyers are going about their business.

“The way you tried this case was not simple,” Gutierrez told the attorney representing the plaintiffs. “This case has turned into 25 hours of testimony. . . . This is the case It went in the wrong direction.” [Editor’s note: For the first time in PFT history, the streak of days with articles using the term “gobbledygook” has reached two.]

The exchange took place Tuesday morning before Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones resumed his testimony.

“I fight the plaintiffs’ case,” Judge Gutierrez said.

His attitude towards the case is not surprising. After filing it, he waived it. (An appeals court overturned his decision.) More recently, however, he denied the NFL’s summary judgment, meaning that he concluded that there were genuine issues of fact that should have been resolved by a jury. An investigation.

Gutierrez is now threatening to sue the NFL as a legal matter. This means (in the judge’s opinion) that the plaintiffs have failed to present sufficient evidence to support a jury verdict in their favor.

In 2007, President George W. Appointed by Bush, Guterres earned the job with a reputation for promoting conservative causes, including a natural pro-business lean. So it’s no surprise that he doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy about the plaintiffs’ case.

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Judges rarely remove a jury’s efforts to dig deeper into the trial. Judge Gutierrez may simply be trying to move things along more quickly than the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

Also, if the jury finds in the NFL’s favor, the judge doesn’t need to intervene. If the plaintiffs win, the judge could rule in favor of the NFL as a matter of law even after the trial is over.

Perhaps, based on his comments from Tuesday, he will.

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