NFLPA lawyer was a Judge Doty law clerk

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One of the most intriguing facts regarding the team of lawyers representing the players in their antitrust lawsuit filed in federal court in Minnesota is that the first name on the stack — Barbara P. Berens — previously served as a law clerk to Judge David Doty.

Judge Doty presided over the antitrust lawsuit filed more than 20 years ago, along with the settlement agreement that became the CBA.  Doty’s role ended when the CBA expired, notwithstanding any remaining issues, like the “lockout insurance” case and the collusion claim filed earlier this year.

As we mentioned earlier today, the league fully expects the new case to be assigned to Judge Doty, notwithstanding the fact that it was initially assigned to a different judge.

Making the situation even more intriguing is the fact that Berens’ website states that she served as a “Special Master” in the NFL antitrust litigation.

From the union’s perspective, it made sense to hire someone who has inside information about Judge Doty’s views regarding antitrust matters arising between the NFL and the NFLPA*.  From the league’s perspective, there’s likely a sense that something untoward could be going on.

In our view, it isn’t.  Lawyers who previously worked for a judge often find a demand for their services in cases involving that judge.  Though Berens worked on matters involving the NFL and the NFLPA*, the case on which she worked has concluded.  This is a new case, filed by new players, under very different circumstances.

Though the NFL may not be thrilled with the development, the NFL could have lined up Berens to serve as what the lawyers call “local counsel” in the case, before the NFLPA hired her.  Moreover, nothing stops the NFL from complementing its legal dream team with the addition of another former Doty law clerk who currently practices in Minnesota.

23 responses to “NFLPA lawyer was a Judge Doty law clerk

  1. Before the great unwashed chime in, former law clerks to the Supreme Court judges OFTEN come back later to argue cases in front of them.

    There is no/none/zero conflict.

    Now, if we really want to talk about conflict of interest we can ask why Scalia and Thomas take free trips to the Koch brother’s “Palm Springs Fascist Festival” every year but didn’t recuse themselves in the Citizens United case?

  2. Millionaires trying to outmaneuver Billionaires in a Legal Masturbatory frenzy……you gotta love it…..this is what law school dreams were made of……

  3. Judge Doty has been living on reputation ever since he helped Alfred the Great compile the Domesday Book.

  4. All very sound if Judge Doty worked in that manner but he doesn’t and it’s wrong to imply that he could be swayed by such trivial matters. It’s not the lawyers, it’s the case. How many of the Judge’s NFL rulings have been over turned by higher courts?

  5. We used to do that all the time. I practiced before a judge for whom I clerked. No big deal.

  6. Should an 82 year old senior judge really be assigned to a case of this magnitude?

    It seems to me it would be more objective to assign a new judge out of the NYC or Washington DC circuits to handle the matter. Didn’t this start 20 years ago in Minn because R. White was in Green Bay?

    It’s a different era.

  7. The NFL claims they can’t figure out how to make a profit so they have to artificially lower player salaries to below market prices? Huh?

    I never under stood the salary cap in the first place. If you can’t afford to pay someone don’t pay them. And if you don’t have enough money to run a franchise than you should be obligated to sell to people who can.

  8. Wait a minute! Are you asking us to actually believe that ethics and morality could play a role in our legal system? What would happen to all the lawyers and judges then?

  9. clintonportisheadd says:
    Mar 12, 2011 4:06 PM
    Before the great unwashed chime in, former law clerks to the Supreme Court judges OFTEN come back later to argue cases in front of them.

    —————————————————-

    It would appear that clintonportisheadd has the typical liberal/socialist intellectual superiority complex, also know as narcissism. Keep it coming! I love to see folks that are so superior to the rest of us show their @sses.

  10. NFL is based in NYC and NFLPA is based in DC so it has to be some strange reason they would file in MN.

    And to people who think the judge having a relationship with a lawyer couldnt sway some favor to that side your living in a fantasy world.

  11. It infuriates me to see a COMMUNIST JUDGE in control. Doty is just another Huessine mouth peice for spreading the wealth around. You might just as well let Obama make the rulings. How does this moron get in this position??????

  12. The “great unwashed”? What a wonderfully condescending attitude you have, clintonportisheadd.

  13. “Should an 82 year old senior judge really be assigned to a case of this magnitude?

    It seems to me it would be more objective to assign a new judge out of the NYC or Washington DC circuits to handle the matter. Didn’t this start 20 years ago in Minn because R. White was in Green Bay?

    It’s a different era.”

    Idiot. Minnesota is clearly the best place to have it.

  14. oldbyrd says: Mar 12, 2011 6:44 PM

    “It infuriates me to see a COMMUNIST JUDGE in control. Doty is just another Huessine mouth peice for spreading the wealth around. You might just as well let Obama make the rulings. How does this moron get in this position??????”

    I hope you are joking. Doty was appointed Reagan. You sir are a moron

  15. You scratch my back and I’ll pay your enormous legal fees. Quid pro quo! It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.

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