The parties involved in the lawsuits filed in connection with the bounty suspensions gathered in New Orleans on Monday for a court-ordered settlement conference.
After roughly three hours, they dispersed without a settlement, according to Ryan Jones of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Per Jones, only Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (pictured) and Saints defensive end Will Smith attended the event in person. Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita weren’t present, and neither NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell nor anyone else directly involved in the investigation was there.
Plenty of lawyers showed up, with their billable-hours meters running at full blast. Jones reports that nine lawyers were involved in the proceedings.
Typically, court-order mediation efforts do not mandate that the named parties attend, as long as the lawyers or some other representative have full authority to settle the case — which typically means that the lawyers show up with a mandated, pre-determined offer from which they have no ability or authority to deviate.
And so, in two days, Vilma will return to court in connection with his attempt to block the suspension pending the outcome of the litigation seeking to overturn the suspension.