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RockyMountainSaint 08-15-2012 10:23 PM

PFT:Judge in bounty case scrutinizes key factual claim made by NFL
 
Judge Helen G. Berrigan issued an order today in the bounty cases. Though it contained no ruling, it hinted at a decision she may be thinking about making, specifically as to Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s defamation claim against Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Judge Berrigan has ordered the parties to identify by Friday at noon the date on which the NFLPA allegedly asked the NFL to defer disciplining players on March 21, the same day he disciplined the coaches and other non-players in the bounty case.

“The Court is aware that Goodell stated, during the March 21, 2012 interview with the NFL Network and ESPN, that he would have disciplined the players at the same time as the coaches but for the NFLPA’s indication that they ‘wanted some time to investigate [the allegations] and talk to its own players,’” Judge Berrigan writes in the order, a copy of which was obtained by PFT. “The Court is asking for the specific date on which this request occurred. If the date is already in the record, the parties may simply cite to the relevant document in the record; if it is not, then the parties shall submit the relevant evidence.”

Judge Berrigan apparently is trying to confirm — or debunk — the NFL’s claim that the decision to suspend the players already had been made at the time the league imposed discipline on the non-players. If the NFL hadn’t made the decision to suspend the players on or before March 21, then the statements made on March 21 by Goodell regarding Vilma could be viewed as unnecessary to the disciplinary process and thus not within the confines of Goodell’s job duties and, most importantly, completely beyond the scope of the labor agreement’s arbitration procedures.

In English, if Goodell actually hadn’t made the decision as to the players on March 21, Vilma’s defamation lawsuit can proceed in court.

At the August 10 hearing before Judge Berrigan, NFL outside counsel Gregg Levy reiterated the position that the decision was made as of March 21, but that the league waited at the union’s request. “[T]he Commissioner was prepared to issue his suspension decision with regard to the players at the same time that he disciplined the franchise and the coaches. But he held off doing that. He held off doing that because he was asked to do that by the Union, which represented to him that it was conducting its own investigation and no investigation ensued,” Levy said.

Judge Berrigan seems to be calling B.S., in not-so-subtle fashion. And it’ll be interesting to see what the parties submit on Friday in response to her order.

If, in the end, the NFL can’t substantiate the contention that the NFLPA asked for the discipline to be delayed beyond March 21, the impact could extend beyond Vilma’s defamation claim. Judge Berrigan will have caught the league with its fingers in the cookie jar of fabrication, which will influence to some extent the manner in which she views any other factual claims made by the league.

"What the hell are you doing Roger?"

Judge in bounty case scrutinizes key factual claim made by NFL | ProFootballTalk

winmill1 08-15-2012 10:25 PM

Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
Judge in bounty case scrutinizes key factual claim made by NFL
Posted by Mike Florio on August 15, 2012, 10:40 PM EDT
Roger Goodell AP

Judge Helen G. Berrigan issued an order today in the bounty cases. Though it contained no ruling, it hinted at a decision she may be thinking about making, specifically as to Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s defamation claim against Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Judge Berrigan has ordered the parties to identify by Friday at noon the date on which the NFLPA allegedly asked the NFL to defer disciplining players on March 21, the same day he disciplined the coaches and other non-players in the bounty case.

“The Court is aware that Goodell stated, during the March 21, 2012 interview with the NFL Network and ESPN, that he would have disciplined the players at the same time as the coaches but for the NFLPA’s indication that they ‘wanted some time to investigate [the allegations] and talk to its own players,’” Judge Berrigan writes in the order, a copy of which was obtained by PFT. “The Court is asking for the specific date on which this request occurred. If the date is already in the record, the parties may simply cite to the relevant document in the record; if it is not, then the parties shall submit the relevant evidence.”

Judge Berrigan apparently is trying to confirm — or debunk — the NFL’s claim that the decision to suspend the players already had been made at the time the league imposed discipline on the non-players. If the NFL hadn’t made the decision to suspend the players on or before March 21, then the statements made on March 21 by Goodell regarding Vilma could be viewed as unnecessary to the disciplinary process and thus not within the confines of Goodell’s job duties and, most importantly, completely beyond the scope of the labor agreement’s arbitration procedures.

In English, if Goodell actually hadn’t made the decision as to the players on March 21, Vilma’s defamation lawsuit can proceed in court.

At the August 10 hearing before Judge Berrigan, NFL outside counsel Gregg Levy reiterated the position that the decision was made as of March 21, but that the league waited at the union’s request. “[T]he Commissioner was prepared to issue his suspension decision with regard to the players at the same time that he disciplined the franchise and the coaches. But he held off doing that. He held off doing that because he was asked to do that by the Union, which represented to him that it was conducting its own investigation and no investigation ensued,” Levy said.

Judge Berrigan seems to be calling B.S., in not-so-subtle fashion. And it’ll be interesting to see what the parties submit on Friday in response to her order.

If, in the end, the NFL can’t substantiate the contention that the NFLPA asked for the discipline to be delayed beyond March 21, the impact could extend beyond Vilma’s defamation claim. Judge Berrigan will have caught the league with its fingers in the cookie jar of fabrication, which will influence to some extent the manner in which she views any other factual claims made by the league.

QBREES9 08-15-2012 10:30 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
They need to settle this. It turns out and offer was made to Vilma. 8 games but he turn it down. If this goes on it will turn ugly. Even more so.

AsylumGuido 08-15-2012 10:32 PM

Re: PFT:Judge in bounty case scrutinizes key factual claim made by NFL
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RockyMountainSaint (Post 428234)

Just the status quo ... being his normal dumbass.

AsylumGuido 08-15-2012 10:36 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by QBREES9 (Post 428238)
They need to settle this. It turns out and offer was made to Vilma. 8 games but he turn it down. If this goes on it will turn ugly. Even more so.

Hell no! Why settle when you did not do what you are being disciplined for? WHEN this goes on it will continue to get more ugly for Goodell.

You act as though you believe that there were truly bounties placed on opposing players as Goodell claimed. Is that what you believe? If not then there is no way in hell Vilma should settle. If you do believe that then ... I don't know what to think.

:brood:

RockyMountainSaint 08-15-2012 10:45 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by QBREES9 (Post 428238)
They need to settle this. It turns out and offer was made to Vilma. 8 games but he turn it down. If this goes on it will turn ugly. Even more so.

So, if JV settles?
I was "kinda" a bounty hunter?

Vilma's actions have made it very clear.

All or nothing.

I applaud him :itsgood:

QBREES9 08-15-2012 10:55 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido (Post 428243)
Hell no! Why settle when you did not do what you are being disciplined for? WHEN this goes on it will continue to get more ugly for Goodell.

You act as though you believe that there were truly bounties placed on opposing players as Goodell claimed. Is that what you believe? If not then there is no way in hell Vilma should settle. If you do believe that then ... I don't know what to think.

:brood:

No that's not what I believe. I want the guy on the field. But he won't be if they don't find a middle ground. Yup all or nothing. Problem with that it just might be nothing.

Asylum please don't get all holier than thou. I'm just a Saints fan who wants the best team on the field.

saintfan 08-15-2012 10:59 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
Everyone knows my outspoken position but I'll say it again because I enjoy the "hippie" mentality I guess:

Vilma should absolutely NOT settle. No way. No how. Snowballs should first freeze in hell. Roger got this wrong. "IF" he can show that, reasonably speaking, there was a pay-for-performance (and I think he can) AND he can show factual evidence that Vilma did what he said, which is contribute 10 large to the program (and we know he cannot), then and only then should Vilma take a deal.

That's not an either or, but an "AND". Roger can't prove both, and he hasn't got anything on Vilma either, and I know it, and everyone here knows it, and Roger knows it. He and the NFL aren't even really arguing that (except in the media). Rather they are doing all they can do to hide behind a recognizably flawed CBA and are trying to establish Roger has authority that, amazingly, even with a flawed CBA, he doesn't truly have.

Roger does have great power, but he also has great responsibility to be fair. Why should Vilma be a mere tool in the NFL's last gasp effort to make fools of us all with this "we have always put player safety first" bull?

Answer: He should not.

Don't give in Vilma. Don't take a deal and demand a public retraction...BY ROGER...force him to publicly clear your name sir. You deserve it, and for that matter so does Goodell...

Halo 08-15-2012 10:59 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
All I can say is, what a mess. gOD-hELL has done this to himself.
We're very close to the tide turning here.

This thing is about to get super complicated.
There are scenarios where settling may hurt the NFL more.
Others where staying the course and Vilma winning may or may not do it.

Remember it's about how the Judge handles this. She's reaching for the law now. A settlement precludes the NFL from going to the 8th circuit court of appeals and throwing out Judge Berrigan's decision.

Again, how "over-turnable" the eventual ruling may be depends on what direction in the law the Judge guides the court to rule... and it must rule in favor of Vilma.

Again, super complicated.

QBREES9 08-15-2012 11:03 PM

Re: Judge calls BS on Goodell
 
He's in deep. Can the NFL appeal and how long will that take.

And just for the record All i ever said is for Jonthan Vilma to fight to the bitter end.


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