Skip to main content

Are You Ready for Some Football?


Can you feel that? I sure can. It’s beginning to feel like football season!  Although the professional football season is just around the corner it now seems like there is football news all year round.  The off-season is more than the draft or what free agent signed with what new team. The NFL football off-season is now full of stuff lawyers love; investigations and law-suits.

The two big legal stories that dominated the professional off-season were the investigation of the New Orleans Saints for putting bounties on opposing players and the ongoing litigation over concussions suffered by former players. 

In the first case the New Orleans Saints have been accused of putting bounties on players from opposing teams. What this means is that Saints defensive players were each putting up a certain amount of money and whoever knocked an opposing player out for a few plays, or for the rest of a game, was awarded the pot of money. This is, however, against NFL rules and the Saints were punished, harshly.  Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL fined the Saints organization $500,000 and several future draft choices. The team’s head coach and general manager were banned for the season without pay, the defensive coordinator was banned indefinitely, and several players were banned for anywhere from three games to the full season. The one player banned for the season was Saints linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma.  While everyone else has accepted their punishment Jonathan Vilma has not and has done what every other red-blooded American would do; he is suing Roger Goodell for defamation in US federal district court.  A copy of Vilma’s complaint can be found here.  

The other big law related issue that is affecting the NFL  is the numerous lawsuits filed by former players alleging that the NFL knew that players were suffering from concussions caused by the violence of the game, but did nothing to protect those players.  According to the NFL Concussion Litigation website there are 3,236 former players as plaintiffs in 124 separate lawsuits. While most lawsuits are for negligence, several are for wrongful death alleging that the NFL’s inaction on the concussion issue caused the deaths of former players.  A recent posting on the site noted that the NFL’s insurance company filed a declaratory action stating that they had no duty to defend the NFL against these lawsuits and that they had no duty to indemnify the NFL.  If you are a football fan interested in the concussion issue definitely check out this web site.

Football is played in the fall and early winter, but litigation is a year round endeavor.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

It’s that time of year again. Law students across the country are poring over their class notes and supplements, putting the finishing touches on their outlines, and fueling their all-night study sessions with a combination of high-carb snacks and Java Monsters. This can mean only one thing: exam time is approaching.

If you’re looking for a brief but effective guide to improving your exam performance, the O’Quinn Law Library has the book for you. Alex Schimel’s Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades, now in its second edition, provides a clear and concise strategy for mastering the issue-spotting exams that determine the majority of your grade in most law school classes. Schimel finished second in his class at the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he taught a wildly popular exam workshop in his 2L and 3L years, and later returned to become Associate Director of the Academic Achievement Program. The first edition of his book was written shortly after he finished law school, …