Bloomberg Law
Oct. 11, 2022, 5:47 PM

NFL’s Raiders Hire Former Big Law Partner as General Counsel

Brian Baxter
Brian Baxter

The NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, fresh off a U.S. Supreme Court decision on their relocation to the city from California, have hired a new general counsel in former Snell & Wilmer partner Justin Carley.

Carley for nearly three years has been the Honolulu-based senior assistant general counsel at real estate development and management company Howard Hughes Corp. He spent 13 years at Snell & Wilmer handling construction litigation and real estate work in Las Vegas before leaving in 2019.

He succeeds Kevin Manara, a former NFL labor relations and policy lawyer who the Raiders hired a year ago as the team coped with an email scandal involving former head coach Jon Gruden, who is suing the league. The Raiders parted ways with Manara over the summer.

Carley joins the Raiders in the same month the team watched the U.S. Supreme Court decline to hear a dispute over its move to Las Vegas from Oakland, Calif. The Raiders played in Oakland from the time of their creation in 1960 to 1982 and again from 1994 through 2019. The team spent the intervening 12 years in Los Angeles.

The Raiders in a statement confirmed Carley’s new role, noting that his addition helps to “herald the team’s next phase.”

Earlier this year the Raiders hired a new president in Sandra Douglass Morgan, a former of counsel at Covington & Burling. Morgan, a Las Vegas native, became the first Black woman to hold a team president position in the NFL.

Morgan didn’t respond to a request for comment about Carley’s hire. Nor did Carley or Manara.

In May, the Raiders fired longtime former general counsel-turned-interim team president Daniel Ventrelle after 18 years with the club. Ventrelle claimed he was terminated after he informed NFL headquarters about an alleged hostile work environment and other misconduct under Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Ventrelle was hired last month to be an executive vice president of talent for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., a professional wrestling outfit that in July replaced its former chief executive, Vince McMahon, following a series of scandals.

New Raiders Regime

The front office section of the Raiders’ website shows that Morgan is the team’s No. 2 executive after Davis. The club also recently welcomed aboard Piper Overstreet-White as a vice president of government relations and promoted associate general counsel Zahir Rahman to deputy general counsel.

Rahman, a former Covington associate, joined the Raiders in 2020. He works out of the team’s headquarters in Henderson, Nev., along with Carley.

The Raiders play their home games at Allegiant Stadium, a 65,000-seat facility that opened in 2020 after the team relocated that year to Las Vegas from their former home in Oakland. The latter sued the Raiders and the NFL over the team’s move.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer is representing the Raiders in that lawsuit, having also advised on the team’s relocation, while Covington took the lead for the NFL, a longtime client of that law firm.

Last year the NFL successfully scuttled an appeal in that antitrust case brought by Oakland before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Oakland and its lawyers from Bethesda, Md.-based Goldstein & Russell; California’s Pearson, Simon & Warshaw; and New York’s Berg & Androphy were ultimately unsuccessful this month after asking the Supreme Court to review that dismissal.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling came a few weeks after the NFL and its 32 teams secured another win against Oakland in a Raiders-related dispute before a California state court.

Oakland’s lack of success in suing the Raiders and the NFL over the club’s relocation stands in contrast to St. Louis, which last year secured a $790 million settlement from the league over the Rams moving to Los Angeles in 2016.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at; John Hughes at

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