NFL: Saints Bounty Thread - Printable Version
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RE: Saints Bounty Thread - ATLBound - 05-18-2012 11:02 AM
(05-18-2012 10:58 AM)AsylumGuido Wrote: See my conversation above with Dave, Phocis. This lawsuit can help Vilma in a VERY big way and IF it comes to light through this litigation that evidence Goodell used to make his decision was faulty it could, in turn, help not only the other players, but the whole team, the coaching staff, the front office and ownership.
This small possibility will only help Vilma.
You have continued to say that this is personal between Vilma and Goodell. It works both ways.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - AsylumGuido - 05-18-2012 11:08 AM
(05-18-2012 11:00 AM)ATLBound Wrote: Isn't the nflpa lawyer the same lawyer that represents Vilma in his case against the NFL.
In a way you are correct, the PA lawyer does represent all of the players, but Vilma's case against Goodell stands on it own merit. Vilma hired Ginsberg immediately after the initial announcement was made. I don't think the hearing had any influence on the decision to file suit against Goodell as it is his best chance to get a chance to challenge the evidence.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - AsylumGuido - 05-18-2012 11:11 AM
(05-18-2012 11:02 AM)ATLBound Wrote: This small possibility will only help Vilma.
Not true. IF it turns out that someone vital to Goodell's case had lied to him or that some key evidence he depended upon was invalid Goodell would have to readdress his punishment of all involved.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - pauliwood - 05-18-2012 11:36 AM
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - AsylumGuido - 05-18-2012 11:42 AM
Here is a very interesting take by Michael McCann. I'd like to hear your take on his take, Dave.
Michael McCann is a sports law professor and Sports Law Institute director at Vermont Law School and the distinguished visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law. He also serves as NBA TV's On-Air Legal Analyst.
Why Vilma v. Goodell is much more than just a defamation lawsuit
Jonathan Vilma's lawsuit against Roger Goodell sets the table for a historic challenge to a historic commissioner.
On the surface, the suspended Saints linebacker's defamation claim has merit. Goodell made statements to third parties which ascribe alleged facts about Vilma, and those alleged facts likely harm Vilma's reputation. Most damaging, in a report distributed to the 32 NFL teams, Goodell alleged that "prior to a Saints playoff game in January, 2010, defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 in cash to any player who knocked [opposing quarterback Brett] Favre out of the game."
While it is impossible to know the exact damage to Vilma's NFL career, especially since the statement does not bear on Vilma's ability to perform as an NFL player, teams probably view him as a less desirable potential employee because of it. Also, unlike many defamation lawsuits that center on statements ultimately deemed non-actionable opinion, Goodell's statement is specific and objectively worded. These elements work in Vilma's favor.
The NFL will seek to dismiss the claim as frivolous or, alternatively, pre-empted by the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFLPA and the Uniform Player Contract. The league has expansively interpreted the collectively-bargained Personal Conduct Policy to include any conduct detrimental to the league's image. The policy commands that Goodell has final say on player discipline and that there is no right of appeal or review of his decisions. From that perspective, Vilma's anger should be with his union, which assented to Goodell having such sweeping authority. In response, Vilma could argue neither collectively-bargained nor language contained in the Uniform Player Contract contemplates defamation lawsuits between players and the commissioner, and thus any pre-emptive language would not apply to his specific dispute.
The league will also argue Vilma, as a public figure, must prove actual malice on the part of Goodell. The requirement of actual malice makes defamation lawsuits more difficult for public figures than for typical persons. It would require Vilma to show that Goodell not only should have known better in making the statement, but that he either intended to defame Vilma or had clear knowledge Vilma would be defamed. Vilma hopes to overcome the actual malice requirement by arguing Goodell's statements are defamatory per se, meaning so egregious on its face there is no need to examine it further. Courts are generally weary of classifying statements as defamation per se.
The league's best argument may be the simplest: truth is an absolute defense to defamation. The problem for the league in making such an argument is that, through the discovery process, it would likely have to disclose information it does not want to reveal. For instance, the league may have to divulge it's sources of information, including the identities of players and coaches who were informants. The backlash of such disclosures could be considerable. Moreover, much like the Mitchell Report has been criticized for relying on disreputable persons, expect similar critiques if the same proves true of the NFL's Bounty Report.
If Vilma's claim advances to the stage where damages are possible, the league can argue that Goodell's specific comments about Vilma, while clearly published to third parties -- the personnel of 32 NFL teams -- were not broadcast to the media, and thus any reputational damage was limited. Of course, the report was read by those who employ or could employ Vilma as an NFL player, meaning the most important group for his career. Also, the report was predictably leaked to the media.
Vilma v. Goodell is more than just a defamation lawsuit. It is a direct challenge to a commissioner who, until now, has acted with more power than any commissioner in U.S. sports history. It is also an attempt to import judicial review of an individual who, until now, has been judge, jury and executioner of NFL justice.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - pauliwood - 05-18-2012 11:49 AM
"Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law."
Hum, I wonder if he is a Saint fan, like every one else in Mississippi.
Try posting something with no regional bias.
Get a lawyer from Michigan, or Minnesota, or Indiana to agree with you and maybe I will listen, but Someone from Mississippi carries no weight.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - AsylumGuido - 05-18-2012 11:55 AM
(05-18-2012 11:49 AM)pauliwood Wrote: "Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law."
Is this HEAVY enough for you, Pauli?
Michael McCann - Biography
Director of the Sports Law Institute and Professor of Law
LLM, Harvard Law School, 2005;
JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 2002;
BA, Georgetown University, 1998
Professor Michael McCann is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of sports law, antitrust, and law and economics. He received tenure in 2010 and is Director of the Sports Law Institute.
Professor McCann is also Sports Illustrated's Legal Analyst, the "Sports Law" columnist on SI.com (CNNSI) , and he recently joined NBA TV as the On-Air Legal Analyst. He is providing on-air legal analysis of the NBA Lockout and other basketball and law matters. Professor McCann's commentary for Sports Illustrated has attracted national acclaim. He has received recognition from The American Lawyer and the Newhouse School of Public Communications, among other entities, for excellence in journalism.
In addition, Professor McCann is a co-founder of The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School. He also teaches a sports law and analytics reading group at Yale Law School. It is the first sports law and analytics course to be offered at a law school.
Professor McCann has placed scholarly articles in the Yale Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Connecticut Law Review, Case Western Reserve Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review, Yale Journal of Law and Technology, and Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, among other law reviews. His most recent article is American Needle v. NFL: An Opportunity to Reshape Sports Law, 119 YALE LAW JOURNAL 726 (2010).
Professor McCann was a visiting associate professor of law at Boston College Law School in 2008, during which time he also served as Chair of the Association of American Law School's Section on Law and Sports. Professor McCann is also the Distinguished Visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law, where he was an assistant professor of law between 2005 and 2008 and where he now teaches a sports law course every summer. While at Mississippi, Professor McCann received the school's most prestigious awards for teaching, including the Professor of the Year Award in 2006-07 and 2007-08 and the Professor of the Year for First-Year Courses Award in all three years. He was also honored with the Phi Delta Phi Professor of the Year Award in 2007-08 and his colleagues named him the recipient of the Shirley Norwood Jones Faculty Award, also in 2007-08.
Professor McCann is also a legal correspondent for the nationally syndicated Dan Patrick Show and he has been frequently interviewed on television programs, including HBO's Bob Costas Now, CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, American Morning, Headline News, and Glenn Beck Show, Fox News' Fox Live Desk, and CNBC's Morning Call and Power Lunch. He has also been interviewed on NPR, BBC, CBC, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, the Lou Dobbs Radio Show, and the Jim Rome Show, and by the New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week. Additionally, Professor McCann contributes to two award-winning blogs: Sports Law Blog and The Situationist.
Prior to becoming a law professor, Professor McCann served as counsel to college football star Maurice Clarett in his lawsuit against the National Football League and its age eligibility rule (Clarett v. NFL, 369 F.3d 124 (2nd Cir. 2004); cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 1728 (2005)). He also served as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School and legal counsel to U.S. Congressman Marty Meehan.
Professor McCann received his LLM from Harvard Law School, his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, and his BA, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University. At Virginia, he was named a Hardy Cross Dillard Fellow, served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, and received the law school's Best Oral Advocacy Award.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - JDaveG - 05-18-2012 12:08 PM
(05-18-2012 11:42 AM)AsylumGuido Wrote: Here is a very interesting take by Michael McCann. I'd like to hear your take on his take, Dave.
Leaving his opinions about Goodell aside, it's a good and objective assessment of the situtaion.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - JDaveG - 05-18-2012 12:09 PM
(05-18-2012 11:49 AM)pauliwood Wrote: "Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law."
I wouldn't worry about that -- if his assessment was biased I'd say that (and his opinions are biased and I DID say that).
But he's very qualified and his analysis of the law is pretty much spot on.
RE: Saints Bounty Thread - phocis850 - 05-18-2012 01:10 PM
So Guido is excited that this is going to come to a head sooner than later. I can agree with that, but I think this is going to hinder the Saints more than anything else. I have a feeling that Vilmas career is already over.