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Marriott removes Michael Irvin’s $100 million lawsuit to federal court

After NFL Network pulled Michael Irvin off the air, Mike Florio unpacks the news that Marriott has removed Irvin's $100 million lawsuit from state court in Texas to federal court.

Hall of Fame Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin wisely sued Marriott in a court that would likely be more favorable to his interests. Marriott has now wisely shifted the case to a court that would likely be more favorable to its interests.

Via Daniel Kaplan of, Marriott has removed the case from state court in Texas to federal court. The evidence comes from the fact that Marriott filed official notice on the state-court docket that the shift has occurred.

Federal law authorizes defendants sued in state court to take the case to federal court when the defendants are not residents of the states where they have been sued. This concept recognizes the reality that there may be home cooking for local residents suing out-of-state parties in state court.

It makes sense. State-court judges are elected; federal judges are appointed for life. At some level, state-court judges will be conflicted by the fact that the plaintiff is among the electorate, and that the defendants are not.

Removal occurs automatically. Irvin now has the ability to filed a motion to remand the case to state court. As long as all defendants are not Texas residents, however, the case will stay in state court.

The removal comes after Irvin scored a couple of early wins in state court, with the presiding judge requiring Marriott to name the employee who accused him of misconduct at the outset of Super Bowl week, and then ordering Marriott to surrender any in-house video of the interaction that resulted in the accusation.

Those rulings remain operative in the case unless and until Marriott persuades the federal judge to overturn them.

Irvin was abruptly pulled from NFL Network’s Super Bowl coverage after the allegation was made. The specifics still aren’t known. ESPN also removed Irvin from a scheduled appearance on First Take.

He promptly sued, alleging that he has been falsely accused.