LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A city councilman plans to hire a lawyer in an effort to bring professional football back to Los Angeles.

Nate Holden said the attorney would be asked to help resolve a lawsuit between Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and the NFL over territorial rights to the Los Angeles area, where the Raiders played for 13 years before returning to Oakland.

``We should be permitted by the court to intervene into this case for the purpose of having a speedy resolution to the legal conflict,'' Holden said. ``This community should not be denied a football team.''

Holden also said that he received a letter Monday from Oakland City Attorney Edward Reines threatening to sue if Holden interferes with the Raiders' contract to play 13 more years in Oakland.

Last week, the councilman predicted that the Raiders soon will win their suit against the NFL, allowing Davis to bring the team south again. Both team and NFL officials called the claim absurd.

However, during a news conference in Alameda on Tuesday with newly named head coach Jon Gruden, Davis said Holden's ``credibility cannot be questioned because he's a bright guy.''

The Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982-94, then returned to their original home in Oakland.