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Arnold & Porter Wins ‘Litigation of the Year – Non-Cartel Defence’ at 13th Annual GCR Awards

April 3, 2023

Arnold & Porter’s work advising the Las Vegas Raiders in an antitrust suit filed by the City of Oakland after the team’s relocation was recognized as “Litigation of the Year – Non-Cartel Defence” at the 13th annual GCR Awards. The “Litigation of the Year – Non-Cartel Defence” category recognizes “creative, strategic and innovative litigation on behalf of a defendant in a non-cartel private action.”

After the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas, the City of Oakland brought an antitrust suit contending that the NFL’s approval of the relocation constituted an unlawful restraint of trade, or alternatively that the NFL had improperly limited the number of teams, thereby driving up the cost to host cities to obtain a team.

Arnold & Porter successfully argued two motions to dismiss and the 9th Circuit appeal, which resulted in a published decision addressing, among other things, the standing of “non-purchasers” who contend they would have purchased a product or service but for anti-competitive conduct that allegedly increased the price. The City, with support from several amici, sought certiorari in the Supreme Court; the petition was denied in 2022. In addition, the City filed parallel state law claims in Superior Court in Los Angeles. The Superior Court sustained a demurrer and in 2022 the California Court of Appeal affirmed that order.

The Arnold & Porter team was led by partner Dan Asimow, who argued the two motions to dismiss in federal court, the demurrer in state court, the federal appeal and the state appeal. The team also included partners Jonathan Gleklen, John Elwood, and David Reis, senior counsel Brian Condon and Steven Mayer, senior associate Oluoma Kas-Osaka, associate Sam Ferenc, and retired partner Ken Hausman. Arnold & Porter shared the award with Covington & Burling, which represented the NFL and the other 31 teams in the matter.