Daily Labor Report®

NFL Hearing Called Off Before Lawyer’s Potential Discipline

Dec. 8, 2018, 6:43 PM

The National Football League won’t get to present oral argument in a federal appeals court case that alleges the league violated antitrust law by colluding with teams to suppress cheerleaders’ wages.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will decide the case based on arguments contained in written briefs, clerk Molly C. Dwyer wrote Dec. 7. The question is whether the NFL’s requirement for teams to submit employment contracts for its review and its prohibition on teams hiring cheerleaders from one another can be considered collusion to keep pay down.

Deciding an appeal without oral argument is uncommon, but procedural rules allow courts to decide a case on the briefs if the judges agree that a hearing wouldn’t significantly aid their decision-making.

The cheerleaders’ lawyer, Drexel Bradshaw, told the court Dec. 6 that he may be subject to professional discipline. The State Bar Court of California found he participated in a scheme to misappropriate funds belonging to an elderly client with dementia to the tune of $157,000. The bar court ordered him placed on involuntary active enrollment Aug. 30 and recommended the state Supreme Court disbar him.

The California Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Dec. 15 to consider discipline and other matters, so Bradshaw could be disbarred before the oral argument in the cheerleaders’ case would have occurred. It was scheduled for Dec. 19.

The case is Kelsey K. v. NFL Enters., LLC, 9th Cir., No. 17-16508, order 12/7/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at jsteingart@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

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