ST. LOUIS — Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL have been dealt another setback in the ongoing legal case over the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, the Missouri court of appeals denied the NFL and Kroenke's emergency petition to move the impending Rams relocation trial out of St. Louis.
Lawyers for the league have argued it would be hard to get an "unbiased" jury in the city where the Rams used to play.
The trial is expected to start in mid-January of 2022 unless some sort of settlement is reached beforehand.
Sports legal analyst Daniel Wallach said the appellate court's decision wasn't a surprising one, and the trial, if there is one, would always almost certainly be held in the City of St. Louis.
"The reality is that the change of venue outside of St. Louis was never going to happen," Wallach said.
"It (Tuesday's ruling) was an expected outcome. Because the decision on whether or not to change the trial venue is a matter within the trial judge's discretion. And the case that the NFL tried to make is that the City of St. Louis is filled with all these biased people. You wouldn't be able to find a single unbiased juror who has not been adversely influenced by all the pretrial publicity. That in a city with hundreds of thousands of individuals you couldn't empanel 12 neutral jurors. And that is a farce and a fallacy. It's commonplace in trials in both state and federal courts for judges to issue detailed questionnaires, to ferret out and identify any improper affiliations, associations and biases. This is a tactic that's really limited to high-profile criminal cases where a defendant my be fighting for his life or his liberty. It is rarely if ever used in a civil lawsuit. And it simply can't be that the City of St. Louis lost its football team because the NFL says there was disinterest in the City of St. Louis. But now that there's a trial all of a sudden the light switch goes on and all these disinterested citizens in the City of St. Louis hate the National Football League, they are irreconcilable."
The league has appealed multiple rulings in the lawsuit already and come up empty in the court of appeals.
"They've already filed 10 writs and have now lost all 10. It's the legal equivalent of a hail mary. But there's no Drew Pearson or Roger Staubach to save the day here," Wallach said.
The case has received increased attention as of late after a report from ESPN spotlighting Kroenke's apparent intention to skirt the burden of footing all of the expenses that resulted from the lawsuit.
You can read more about that, here: ESPN: Kroenke and owners at odds over legal expenses of St. Louis trial