Haynes and Boone Gets Appellate Win for NFL in Fantasy Football Convention Suit

04/24/2018

A Haynes and Boone, LLP team has won Dallas Court of Appeals affirmance of a significant victory for the National Football League.

A fantasy football convention company backed by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had sued the league, alleging the NFL tortiously interfered with its actual and prospective contracts with players and NFL Network on-air talent to participate in an event scheduled to take place at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. 

The plaintiff company claimed that the NFL interfered with the convention by telling the NFL players’ union that participation in the event would violate the league’s longstanding gambling policy. The plaintiff also alleged fraud, business disparagement and a host of other contract and tort claims. 

The league moved for summary judgment on the affirmative defense of justification, among other grounds. On June 29, 2016, Dallas County District Judge Carl Ginsberg threw out the lawsuit entirely, granting summary judgment for the NFL on all claims. 

On April 20, 2018, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld Judge Ginsberg’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the NFL in its entirety. In affirming summary judgment, the appellate court reinforced well-settled law permitting companies to take action to ensure compliance with their policies without risking liability for tortious interference.

Partner Anne Johnson and Associate Andrew Guthrie led the charge on appeal, with substantial assistance from the winning trial court team of Partners Thad Behrens and Charlie Jones and Associate Jamee Cotton.

Multiple news outlets reported the win, including the following:

Law360 (Subscription required)

Texas Lawbook (Subscription required)