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Articles

The Trial

Sacked! Fourth down and $1,699,999,999 to go for the U.S.F.L.

The $1 league: the rise and fall of the USFL

The price of monopoly.

What it costs to win a $3 lawsuit.

USFL vs. NFL: ratings, courtroom challenge.

USFL heading for showers?

Money, Sept 1986 v15 p14(1)

What it costs to win a $3 lawsuit. (the case of NFL and USFL)

Full Text: COPYRIGHT Time Inc. 1986

Next time you consider suing your dentist for bungling a root canal or your neighbor for harboring a canine criminal that played tug-of-war with your best suit, remember that juries sometimes do the strangest things -- but that lawyers almost always win. Witness the recent antitrust suit between the upstart United States Football League and the venerable National Football League. A U.S. District Court jury in New York City concluded that the NFL was a monopoly and that the USFL thus was entitled to damages. But instead of the up to $1.69 billion the USFL sought, the jury awarded its now famous $1 (trebled to $3, as is customary in antitrust judgments). But for wrangling over the $3, the three law firms hired by the NFL and the two that were employed by the USFL can expect a real windfall -- at least $10 million. Some call it justice. Others might call it a legal killing.