- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A federal judge gave Dan Snyder a legal victory Wednesday — ruling that the business dispute between the Washington Football Team owner and his three minority partners must go back into arbitration with the NFL rather than have the matter decided in court.

Robert Rothman, Dwight Schar and Fred Smith, Snyder’s minority partners, sued Snyder in November and accused him of blocking the sale of their 40% stake in the franchise, asking the court to issue an injunction to allow the sale to go forward.

But on Wednesday, judge Peter Messitte ruled that the existing contract between Snyder and the partners indicates that any disputes would be settled by an NFL arbitrator.

“The Court concludes that is obligated to defer to the parties’ agreement to arbitrate,” Messitte wrote in a memorandum.

Messitte, though, ruled that he still has the right to decide over ongoing accusations that the parties leaked details of the case to the media. The trio’s lawyers previously accused Snyder of leaking information to The New York Times and asked for Snyder to be sanctioned, while Snyder fired back and accused the partners of the same.

The judge also ordered that the federal court would have jurisdiction over any case if Snyder or the NFL intervene over any other future negotiations of a sale.

The partners and Snyder have spent the last few months in court as the case has gotten increasingly heated with threats exchanged on both sides. On Tuesday, for instance, the trio’s lawyers accused Snyder of financial malfeasance, to which Snyder’s lawyers called the accusation “scandalous” and “defamatory.”

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