Introducing Paul A. Engelmayer, the judge handling NHL’s lawsuit

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The NHL’s class action complaint has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, whom the Associated Press profiled on Sunday.

The “relatively new” federal judge assumed his role in July 2011 after spending time as a Supreme Court clerk and becoming the chief of the major crimes unit in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. He’s also a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Oh, but the AP points out something of way more importance: he’s a fan of the New York Yankees.

Engelmayer spent much of his time with the major crimes unit sniffing out fraud cases, while he’s already made a controversial decision as a federal judge:

In his most notable decision thus far, Engelmayer ruled a provocative ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages is protected speech under the First Amendment. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority initially refused to run the ad, saying it was “demeaning.”

(The New York Times has more on that decision.)

Sources such as the Los Angeles Times describe the U.S. District Court in New York as “often-friendly to sports leagues” and “pro-employer,” but much might come down to Engelmayer’s own assessment of the situation.

If you want to peek at his basic resume, the Federal Judicial Center has a bio of Engelmayer here.