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Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; As the NFL awaits a ruling from Judge Helen G. Berrigan on the question of whether the bounty-related suspensions of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma , Saints defensive end Will Smith , Browns linebacker Scott Fujita , and free-agent defensive Anthony ...

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
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As the NFL awaits a ruling from Judge Helen G. Berrigan on the question of whether the bounty-related suspensions of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free-agent defensive Anthony Hargrove will be upheld or overturned or lifted pending a final decision, yet another new wrinkle has emerged.
In an order issued on Wednesday, Judge Berrigan directed NFLPA counsel Jeffrey Kessler to address the question of whether he has a conflict of interest, via his joint representation of the players union and his representation of three of the players who have been suspended (Smith, Fujita, and Hargrove).
The specific basis for the conflict hasn’t been identified. Instead, Judge Berrigan generally explains that she “has been concerned” that a conflict exists. Her concerns potentially arise from the fact that the NFLPA has a duty to represent all players, including the actual or potential victims of the acts that Smith, Fujita, and Hargrove allegedly encouraged, funded, and/or directly perpetrated.
Judge Berrigan also said in the order that she is “extremely disappointed” by the failure of the parties to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations, stating that she believes that talks “would likely have resulted in some relief for all four [of] the players.” She also noted the existence of “longstanding acrimony among all of the attorneys representing all of the parties that predates these disputes,” and she expressed a belief that the acrimony is “contrary to the interests of all four players.”
At first blush, the acrimony itself appeared to be the cause for her concern regarding a conflict of interest on Kessler’s part. However, given that she emphasized that the acrimony on the part of all attorneys for all parties is impacting the interests of all four players, she apparently believes that Kessler’s situation presents an issue separate from the reality that, when lawyers can’t get along, their clients have a hard time getting justice.
Justice, in one form or another, is coming soon. Judge Berrigan directed the NFL to respond by 12:00 CT Thursday to the NFLPA’s request for lift the suspensions pending a final disposition of the case. A ruling, one way or the other, has to come by the close of business on Friday. Otherwise, justice delayed will have been, from the perspective of the players, justice denied.
Then again, the fact that a ruling didn’t come Tuesday already has denied a portion of the justice they seek, given that they were unable to practice on Wednesday and now on Thursday. Absent a ruling today, they’ll also miss practice on Friday, making it harder for them to make any meaningful contribution on Sunday, when the Saints host the Redskins and the Browns host the Eagles. As to Hargrove, who was cut by the Packers last month, Judge Berrigan’s failure to rule has made it even harder for him to get a new job.





Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case | ProFootballTalk

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
 
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

I have to say... She is a sharp old broad.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

Judge Helen Berrigan issues two orders involving NFLPA's temporary restraining order motion - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
"U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan issued two orders Wednesday morning involving the NFLPA's motion for temporary restraining order to stop the NFL's bounty-related suspensions of New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith and former Saints defenders Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove.

Berrigan first ordered the counsel for the NFLPA and the three players show cause by noon Thursday whether or not they should be disqualified because of any conflict of interest considering the counsel represents the union on one hand and the players on another.

She also ordered the NFL file any opposition to the motion by the NFLPA and three players for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to stop the suspensions by noon on Thursday.

Berrigan wrote that the court is doubtful that negotiations between the league and the union will be fruitful and the court found that "extremely disappointing" since it believes negotiations would bring relief to these three players and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who is already serving his year-long suspension.

Smith (four games), Fujita (three) and Hargrove (eight) would begin their suspensions this week."

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Old 09-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

So - Do they get to play or what?? This is BS - cmon man!!

Something - ANYTHING. Some finality to the whole thing please.

Are we rabid, paranoid, self deluded fans OR is our paranoia founded in what we know to be true in the face of every other team's fans thinking we are the worst thing since the Bubonic Plague!!

(sorry I am getting a little edgy about this!!)
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

WE need the truth!
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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Yeah. The conflict being that they PLAY FOR THE NFL?

Or are being prosecuted by the NFL?

And as far as her disappointment; I bet. And a cop is disappointed when you don't throw yourself at his feet when you HAVE NOT been drinking and he asks you how much you've had to drink!

EFF this whole process. It stinks because there is no BODY STINKING!

Alaska
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:48 AM   #8
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

In laymans terms... and she may have a very good point.

The lawyer for the NFL and the lawyer for the NFLPA have been going at each other for so many years that she feels the hate between the two could be causing an obstruction to a settlement. They no longer know how to get along. Similar to political party's.

They are both cutting off their noses to spite their face.


NOW.... Do I think she is using this to get new council? No...

She is treating them like they are acting... like children. She is using that mother approach where you drop hints to make your child see what he is doing and let him correct his own direction.

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:05 AM   #9
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They really need to cut out the middle man.
Get a recently retired judge in a room with Vilma and the other players with either a lawyer or member of the NFLPA,the leagues lawyer,Godell and another high ranking official.
Get the league to lay out all 'evidence' on the table and get this sorted.
Once both sides have seen what's on the table and answered each other questioned this can be dealt with.


As normal in these situations both sides has spoke too much and handed it over to others to sort out.The league should never have gone public like it did.
It stopped any chance of a easy resolution.They brief their puppies in the press and let them tar everyone involved.The players were guilty before they had the chance to defend themselves.


Ray Lewis was spot on the other night in a interview he made with the British media.
"This sort of stuff is not for the public,people have been saying things they should not have said."

The judge is correct,there will never be a agreement made between the lawyers.Far too much bad blood has passed between them and it will continue.This is about more than the merits of this case,it's about settling old scores.
God help them when the new bargaining agreement needs made.No way to the players let the Commissar have the power he has now.

"Two receivers to the left, Garcon to the right. Manning in the shotgun, puts Collie in motion. Looks in his direction...it's picked off! It's picked off! It's Tracy Porter again! He's runnin' free! He's gonna go all the way!
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #10
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Re: Judge Berrigan believes NFLPA lawyer may have conflict of interest in bounty case

Originally Posted by lee909 View Post
God help them when the new bargaining agreement needs made.No way to the players let the Commissar have the power he has now.
The players don't care. They only care when it effects them financially.
They may try and fight it but as soon as it appears they will lose money they will fold considering the avg career is 2 years. It's just not worth it.

I think the Saints got screwed as do most people who know the facts but let's be honest here. They did it to themselves as far as getting on RG's radar and I think that is the main lesson players and coaches learned from all this. Stay off the radar which is not really that hard to do.

I also think it made the NFL understand the problem of one person having too much power. It started to look like a mad man swinging an ax and hitting everything but the target towards the end. The owners may just fix it themselves by re-evaluating RG's processes.
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