Another Attempt to Divide Players
(UPDATED 9:56 PM)
On Wednesday, Dan Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reported that possibly up to 70 NFL players were considering signing on with a law firm to intervene into settlement mediation talks. The report cited unnamed sources and did not name any NFL players or the law firm.
The below letter* was sent from the firm via email to players, soliciting them to sign up as clients. The letter itself indicates that it is a follow up to a previous effort, as it had to resolve a conflict before proceeding: A partner in the firm previously represented the NFL.
However, the main objective of the letter appears not to be to clear up that issue, but to continue soliciting players as clients since the firm’s goal for participants (70) has not been met.
THE MEDIATION SO YOU HAVE A VOICE. READ BELOW AND SEE ATTACHED.
Please find attached correspondence to you and a proposed player engagement letter. We have not also attached a copy of our standard terms and conditions.
As we discussed, one of our partners in our Los Angeles office has previously done work for the National Football League or its its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Accordingly, pursuant to our internal review of this issue and the Rules of Professional Conduct, we must obtain a waiver from the NFL in order to represent players in the referenced litigation. Requesting the waiver will alert the NFL to the players’ concerns and our potential involvement relating thereto which presents tactical opportunities - as it would allow the players to quickly and openly enter the negotiation process - but also concerns as it may create the false impression that the players are somehow fragmented at this time. Accordingly, it is critical that the players consider the issues presented and ensure you that they are comfortable with our seeking a waiver at this time. It is important, additionally, that they appreciate that the NFL may not agree to a waiver. In that case they will need to seek other counsel, though we can assist with that process on an expedited basis. see below for update
It is our hope and intention to represent a group of seventy (70) or more current or potential NFL players.These players have expressed an interest in obtaining independent representation in the hope that by adding their voice to the current negotiations and litigation they may: (1) work to secure a global resolution promptly that addresses the needs of all players; and (2) support and add to the legal efforts of the players now active in the litigation. The focus of our representation will therefore be to accelerate efforts aimed at securing a negotiated resolution of the dispute and, if necessary, intervene in the litigation proceedings and pursue resolution through direct participation in the litigation.
From a legal standpoint, we anticipate taking the following steps to meet the players’ objectives:
1. Advise counsel for players now active in the litigation of the separate interests of our clients and the need to address those interests as a part of securing a prompt resolution of the dispute;
2. Conduct an initial meeting with counsel for players now active in the litigation on an expedited basis to detail our clients’ interests and discuss how those interests can be incorporated into the current negotiations for resolution; and
3. Discuss with counsel for players now active in the litigation in our initial meeting whether the inclusion of our clients as named plaintiffs will be a positive and effective addition to the litigation team and materially advance prospects for a prompt resolution.
It is our intent to work in a cooperative fashion with the current player representatives to add to the force of the players’ claims in the case based on our belief that our prospective clients’ are more “typical” of the average NFL player from an interest, financial and damages perspective. In doing so, however, it is also our belief that a mutually-agreeable resolution of the current dispute is more likely if such “typical” players are more actively represented in the litigation and negotiation proceedings on an ongoing basis.
*****Update from above: per the last email I sent you the Lawyers have spoken to the NFL with regards to the issue they had with a potential conflict and their new partner in LA office. He spoke to the NFL to get their permission to move forward on you and your fellow players behalf.
The response was welcome as they said the present list of players that are in Mediation right now are not negotiating in good faith and they welcome a fresh large list of players to help bridge the gap.
This information is important as they believe the players/PA reps and counsel are acting on the idea that the judge will rule in their favor and this is a bad idea even if it does that would mean this will drag on for months or worse.
I ask you to please get the 70 players to sign onto this as fast as possible the next meeting between the parties is Tuesday therefore we have the weekend and Monday to be added to the table, you would have a voice for your own futures.
*NFLLockout.com has posted the unedited email in its entirety and has not attempted to correct the errors it contains.
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