Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association suffered a blow in their attempt to vacate the NFL's four-game suspension on the New England Patriots quarterback.
According to a court document obtained by NFL Media's Albert Breer, U.S. District Judge Richard H. Kyle in Minnesota ordered Thursday that the NFLPA's lawsuit be transferred to the Southern District of New York.
"This court perceives no reason for this action to proceed in Minnesota," Kyle wrote in his ruling.
On Wednesday, the NFLPA filed suit in Minnesota alleging that Brady's punishment was not fair and consistent. It also claims that the appeal hearing "defied any concept of fundamental fairness" and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was partial in his decision to uphold the suspension.
The players association filed the suit in Minnesota where they had won previous litigation against the NFL.
On Tuesday, the NFL preemptively filed a claim in Manhattan, asking the court to uphold its decision on Brady's suspension. The proactive strike worked.
Kyle cited the "first-filed rule" as the reason for his decision.
"Indeed, the Court sees little reason for this action to have been commenced in Minnesota at all," Kyle wrote. "Brady plays for a team in Massachusetts; the Union is headquartered in Washington, D.C.; the NFL is headquartered in New York; the arbitration proceedings took place in New York; and the award was issued in New York.
"It really doesn't matter to us where the case is," Kessler said. "What we finally have is a neutral forum. Before a neutral forum, we are very confident in our position."
Breer reported the NFLPA plans to refile its lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of Brady in Manhattan, per a union source.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport laid out Brady's legal options following this suit. Brady could look to first seek an injunction to allow Brady to remain on the field while the legal case plays out. If the injunction is received, Brady's team could either fast track the case in federal court or hope that the case isn't heard until after the 2015 season.
The first legal volley went the NFL's way, but we are far from the end of judicial process.
The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Tom Brady's lawsuit and debates which veteran players are most likely to be cut.