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Judge orders new trial in Raiders lawsuit against NFL

John Nadel The Associated Press
Tuesday September 24, 2002

LOS ANGELES — Citing jury misconduct, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday ordered a new trial in the Oakland Raiders’ $1.2 billion conspiracy lawsuit against the National Football League. 

In a 9-3 vote last year, a Superior Court jury rejected the Raiders’ claims that the NFL sabotaged the team’s plans to build a new stadium in the Los Angeles area and that the team still owned the NFL rights to the Los Angeles market. 

The Raiders moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995 — 13 years after they moved south. 

The misconduct allegation was raised after five jurors in last year’s six-week trial said they overheard one member of the panel say he hated the Raiders and team owner Al Davis and would never vote in their favor, Raiders attorney Larry Feldman said. 

The ruling calling for a new trial was made by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard C. Hubbell, who heard the first trial. 

“The Raiders are elated with the court’s decision and look forward to having an opportunity to try their case to a fair and impartial jury,” Feldman said. “The Raiders have always believed that they would be playing football games at a state-of-the-art stadium at Hollywood Park today if it were not for the NFL’s interference with their negotiations.” 

Feldman said a new trial date would be set Dec. 3. 

Feldman said the complaint was significant because the jury favored the NFL by a 9-3 vote. One additional vote for the Raiders would have resulted in a hung jury. 

“We’re disappointed. We will review the decision with our attorneys,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said from his New York City home. 

“We believe this is the right decision, a just decision,” Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said from her office in Oakland. “The NFL celebrated too soon.”