Goodell’s defamation case extension doesn’t mean anything

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While perusing on Twitter the reaction to our latest entry about the leaked ledger entries, one link led to another and I landed on Jonathan Vilma’s timeline.

Vilma points out the flaws in the ledger story, from the initial leak being wrong to the corrected leak not meshing with what happened in a game against the Panthers that supposedly produced a trio of game-ending injuries.

Something deeper in Vilma’s entries reminded me of something I forgot to mention the other day.  Vilma writes that Commissioner Roger Goodell “has asked for a delay to respond to my defamation suit. He was granted until july 5th to respond. Interesting.”

Unfortunately, it’s not that interesting.  Parties who are sued routinely ask for extra time to respond to the complaint.  Requests filed for an extension of the deadline to “move, answer, or otherwise plead” (that’s what I used to call it, if anyone cares . . . and no one does) are routinely granted, too.

There’s nothing sinister about it, especially in this case.  Goodell undoubtedly will avoid responding to the specific allegations contained in Vilma’s complaint, filing instead a motion to dismiss the case based on the argument that the claims made by Vilma are covered by the grievance procedure contained in the labor agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA.

Typically, the request for a delay is driven by the personal calendar of the lawyer who’ll be handling the case.  With pre-existing professional and personal commitments, it simply may be impossible for the lawyer to put together the motion and the brief and the other bells and whistles that, in this case, could be put together very, very quickly.  Instead of doing it quickly, the lawyer will want to do it accurately.

Indeed, in an industry driven by billable hours, time is of the essence in a much different way.

11 responses to “Goodell’s defamation case extension doesn’t mean anything

  1. Goodell needs more time to create more “evidence”
    He needs more time to leak inaccurate and false ledger entries
    He needs more time to leak more misleading and spun “admissions”
    He needs more time to hope the ever growing base of fans and media that are suspicious of his claims die down.
    He needs more time to beg Vilma to drop his suit
    He needs more time to find a way to apologize to the Saints

  2. Most NFL fans are tired of hearing about the scandal. I know I am. The Saints franchise seems to be one in total disarray. Sign Brees and try to salvage the season as best you can. Whining about the past won’t help. Look to the future & how to rebuild a winner there.

  3. Yeah, routinely, the defendant asks for a dismissal, but with all that money at stake, (Vilma’s 1 year pay) it ain’t gonna happen. Goodell’s credibility has been damaged and the delay looks more and more like a stalling tactic, instead of a routine legal strategy. Vilma’s challenge could spell the end of the Goodell regime, as we know it.

  4. Florio is 100% right. Extensions of time to answer a suit are granted almost all of the time and almost always with the consent of the other party’s attorney. While the Judge did grant the extension, I would be shocked to learn that Vilma’s attorney opposed it. That is not the hill any attorney wants to die on.

  5. Goodell’s credibilty has absolutely not been damaged (at this time). If he would lose the case, absolutely. Asking for an extension, no.

    When Goodell files the “Motion to dismiss”, is that going to damage his credibility? As was mentioned in the article, the extension is routine and indicitive of nothing.

    I truely believe that Vilma will be the loser in this case.

  6. for all the wannabe lawyers who post here, try using some basic commonsense instead of trying to sound smart. if I were Goodell and I had all of this solid ironclad evidence why would I postpone or stall the start of this lawsuit, especially if I knew i had a mountain of evidence against this guy. I would be running to the courtroom to show what evidence I did have so I could 1. quell any suspicions from the fans
    2.shutup the NFLPA
    3. move on to the next business at hand.
    none of this makes any sense and the longer it drags on the worse Goodell looks in the eyes of public opinion as well as the fans. If Im trying to make all these changes as commissioner the last thing I want is negative publicity.

  7. The league spends much of its corporate life in a courtroom while the general public remains blissfully unaware and unconcerned about behind-the-scenes legalities. Goodell has just signed a long-term contract. For the most part, the owners are happy with his performance, and his job is secure. I doubt he’s particularly worried about his credibility. He knows this too shall pass.

    What he doesn’t want is for a court to rule he’s “defamed” Vilma. That could leave him vulnerable to suits from other previously suspended players and make it difficult–if not impossible–for him to discipline players in the future. He’ll do what’s necessary to make this go away quickly and quietly so he can get back to business as usual. But no matter how the lawsuit turns out, I’m not sure any of this will work out well for Vilma in the end. If Goodell or the league wants to make an example of him, they’ll do it one way or another.

  8. The first thing Vilma’s lawyer should do is advise his client to stop tweeting about this topic, but I see that his attorney has opened his mouth publicly also. Not a good idea IMO. Sometimes less is more.

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