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Judge says she’ll rule for Vilma, if she can find a way to legally do it

Bounties Vilma AP

The NFL is back in the place where it doesn’t possess total control over the outcome.  And the latest courthouse into which the league has ventured could end up giving the league bad news.

At a hearing regarding Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s effort to lift his suspension while litigation aimed at overturning it proceeds, Judge Helen G. Berrigan said that she will rule for Vilma, if she can find a way to legally do it.

That nugget comes from the Twitter account of Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman, who is attending the hearing.

While the judge seems to be inclined to favor Vilma and the other players, it’s still unclear how this will all play out.  She could send the case back to Goodell, something that NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler said would be the equivalent of “Groundhog Day.”

Judge Berrigan also seems to think that she must wait for the appeal of Richard Burbank’s decision that the bounty punishments fall beyond the labor deal’s provision regarding salary-cap violations, which would rob the Commissioner of jurisdiction over the discipline.  Kessler has argued that the court can decide on its own that the Commissioner lacks jurisdiction to suspend players for conduct detrimental to the game if she believes that, in the end, the case arises from circumventing the salary cap by giving the players extra money for big hits that sent players out of games.

Plenty of things could happen in court today.  The judge could lift the suspension as to Vilma pending further litigation, she could dismiss the players’ effort to overturn the suspensions, or she could overturn the suspensions.  Or she could wait for the appeal of the Burbank ruling.

Regardless of what she does and when she does it, the final outcome is destined to be appealed by the losing party.  The ultimate question is whether the players will be permitted to play while the appeals court process plays itself out.

As a result, there’s a chance that the players could ultimately lose — but only after they have been permitted to play all of the 2012 season.

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72 Responses to “Judge says she’ll rule for Vilma, if she can find a way to legally do it”
  1. jimr10 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:04 AM

    Looks like Kessler and smith now own the NFL. why is anyone surprised a liberal democrat judge would rule in favor of what is right.

  2. meandjuliojonesdownbytheschoolyard says: Aug 10, 2012 11:05 AM

    It’s obvious that Vilma is only worried about himself and making more money, not the betterment of the game we actual fans love. These players simply want to get revenge on goodell, they know they were wrong to do what they did.

  3. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Aug 10, 2012 11:06 AM

    How very impartial. She always side with cheaters?

  4. panamon says: Aug 10, 2012 11:09 AM

    Regardless of what she does the final outcome will also include Vilma posting something silly on Twitter.

  5. gripless says: Aug 10, 2012 11:10 AM

    What kind of objective judge pre-determines she wants to rule for a particular side “if she can swing it”.

    These players are going to bankrupt the NFL (like they already do themselves) because they are stupid and greedy.

    Sue your employer until they are out of business. Not hard to see why these guys lose their money.

  6. ghlatty says: Aug 10, 2012 11:12 AM

    I honestly thought that Judge Doty overstepped his bounds in the past (Star Caps, etc.). But these player suspensions just dont pass either the “smell” or “duck” tests to me. I hope Judge Berrigan grants the TRO and has a hearing on a permanent injunction and all the evidence comes out. If they are guilty, everyone will know. If not, then Roger will be taken down a rung or two. Either way, I think the result will be good for the league in the end. Let the sunshine in.

  7. txxxchief says: Aug 10, 2012 11:14 AM

    Or in other words, she’ll have to enforce the law and a legal contract unless she can find a way not to.

  8. mvp43 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:16 AM

    Agree or disagree with Goodell’s decisions, the collective bargaining agreement signed by both the league and the players gives him the authority to hand down these punishmnets…..

    The players may not like it….but they agreed to it.

    How can any judge ignor that?

  9. geniusfan says: Aug 10, 2012 11:18 AM

    What do you expect? She’s a Louisiana judge and wants to get re-elected.

    Conflict of interest.

  10. matt14gg says: Aug 10, 2012 11:19 AM

    Bottom line is the commish is stopping a guy from making a living. Most judges will decide in the favor of a guy trying to earn a living. Regardless of whether you agree with the suspension or not, a judge is only going to consider the legal question involved.

  11. FinFan68 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:20 AM

    Judge says she’ll rule for Vilma, if she can find a way to legally do it
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Really? This is why Vilma’s lawyers tried so hard to get the issue in front of this particular judge. If a judge is pre-determined to rule a specific way without first looking at the law, they have no business on the bench. If she would have said the same thing but favored the league she would have been just as wrong and I would feel the same way.

    Judges will always have political leanings and opinions but their rulings should always be based upon the law rather than what they want the law to be. Sadly, this is not always the case. If you look at what this judge has said before and during the process, there is an obvious bias against the league. She is not even attempting to hide (or more appropriately eliminate) those feelings.

  12. ernie ernie says: Aug 10, 2012 11:20 AM

    Once the judge rules that the NFL cannot punish wrong doing, the league should suppend all play and just say, what do you want football or not.
    I did not hear the judge say she would rule of the actual evidence but on whether the NFL can actually suspend someone for anything. How is that her jurisdiction?????
    Another liberal judge not afraid to make an unjust decision.

  13. dennisatunity says: Aug 10, 2012 11:21 AM

    That is very odd. She makes her decision first and then she is going to search for the legal foundation with which to justify it? She is supposed to see where the law takes her, not make a decision first and then look for support. I don’t care which side you support, how messed up is that?

  14. cashmoneymountain says: Aug 10, 2012 11:21 AM

    Ironic if other teams this year make Brees ankle look like Favre’s after the NFC title game? Could a Saints fan legitimately be upset if it happened to them?

  15. tk41 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:23 AM

    Calm down folks who don’t know the law – Shes listening to oral argument and responding to them. Decent chance she doesn’t even rule today.
    Her comments suggest
    1) RG’s power is overreaching to where it extends beyond the traditional topics of collective bargaining (which is a view held by most in the legal community, liberal AND conservative);
    2)Vilma has suffered irreparable harm (he has due to loss of $$);
    3) that the NFL’s appeals process = RG only is a sham because no reasonable person would believe he would change his mind;
    4) that there is NO EVIDENCE Vilma paid $$ for knockouts.

    This type of thing is pretty standard at a motion practice hearing. This is far from the end. So everyone, just chill out.

  16. bigjdve says: Aug 10, 2012 11:25 AM

    Where did these points about this being about circumventing the cap come into play? I distinctly remember reading on a daily basis how this was about the players taking and participating in a bounty program, where the intent to injure other players (which is against the rules) was the main issue.

    Well then there was the whole part about them lying about it to the league thing as well.

    However that doesn’t say anything about the cap.

  17. daveman8403 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:25 AM

    It is not pre-determined. last week in the hearing, Vilma had 9 people testify and the NFL had no rebuttle. she basically called what the NFL did Ridiculous.

  18. crubenst says: Aug 10, 2012 11:27 AM

    This is why america has lost faith in the judicial system. Activist judges trying to find a way to justify their own preferences instead of just objectively ruling on the facts and the law.

  19. tdk24 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:28 AM

    Suspending Vilma for a year while letting Jerome Harrison run free is like giving an addict a life sentence and slapping a drug dealer on the wrist.

  20. mavajo says: Aug 10, 2012 11:28 AM

    “What kind of objective judge pre-determines she wants to rule for a particular side “if she can swing it”.”

    —-

    Sigh. Why do I keep torturing myself…

    She didn’t pre-determine that she’s going to side with Vilma. She’s heard facts, and determined that Vilma’s case is more compelling. However, that’s only part of the battle — now she has to make sure there are legal grounds to declare in Vilma’s favor. It’s a two-pronged thing here: Which side seems to be in the right? And which side has the law in their favor? Ultimately, Question 2 will trump Question 1, but it still makes Question 1 something worth asking. When the answers to Questions 1 and 2 appear to be diametrically opposed, that’s when you get new case law, etc.

  21. tdk24 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:28 AM

    Correction…

    Suspending Vilma for a year while letting James Harrison run free is like giving an addict a life sentence and slapping a drug dealer on the wrist.

  22. billsfan1 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:29 AM

    Of course with this latest blurb one thinks that when she gives said outcome to Vilma, the league will then file an appeal based on the impartial unfairness to the trial…. wouldnt they be correct in that assumption?

    Think about it, if you want into juror selection and said im going to vote him guilty regardless, they would dismiss you. Shouldnt the same be said for a judge? dismiss her from the case?

  23. footballfan58 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:31 AM

    Nice to see this judge is “fair and impartial”. . . . .

  24. jimr10 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:33 AM

    There seems to be a lot of animosity toward the owners… remember people.. they are the ones providing us with what we want. Like Goodell or not.. he is doing what his 32 bosses want him to do..

  25. rpkllc says: Aug 10, 2012 11:33 AM

    The judge stated that she wanted to rule in favor of the players because she thinks that the process which led to the suspensions was neither transparent nor fair, but that she doesn’t know if she can do it before the August 30th arbitor hearing.

  26. packhawk04 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:39 AM

    Ha! Gotta love liberal judges trying to protect the players from themselves. “You broke the rules, lied about it, then agreed via the CBA to give goodell this authority. Let me see if i can get you out of this.”

    Sounds like a liberal to me

  27. tscarlato says: Aug 10, 2012 11:40 AM

    In the United States every person has the right to confront evidence against him. Even Jonathan Vilma.

    The commish appears to have ignored this.

    Apparently this judge will not. Good for her.

  28. petedutcher says: Aug 10, 2012 11:41 AM

    Here’s an angle.

    If Vilma delays this a year, his playing age will become a factor in a future contract. He’s a fool for fighting it.

    Personally, what I’m seeing is a refusal to take responsibility for ones actions. The coaches did…which pretty much proves there was a bounty system in place. Vilma denying it just proves he’s scum.

    I would have respected him more if he’d just said “Yes, we did it. It was wrong and we’ll face up to it.”

    Then he could serve his year and be respected again. As it stands now, he’s proving he is a horrible role model and a piece of dirt.

  29. daveman8403 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:41 AM

    @geniusfan — She is NOT and elected official. Federal Judeges are appointed, FOR LIFE.

  30. tscarlato says: Aug 10, 2012 11:42 AM

    Billsfan,

    In this case it’s more like the juror saying “if you don’t show me any evidence to support your claim then I’m going to find for the other guy.”

  31. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Aug 10, 2012 11:42 AM

    i guess i’ve been lying to myself all these years in assuming judges ruled on the merits of the respective arguments presented DURING the case, and not trying to serve an agenda, but then that’s why appointing a judge is such a politically contentious deal, eh? impartial my eye…

  32. njsteelersfan says: Aug 10, 2012 11:43 AM

    Judge says she’ll rule for Vilma, if she can find a way to legally do it. In other words “Dam how did my bank acct get soooooooo big “

  33. thejuddstir says: Aug 10, 2012 11:45 AM

    Judge Judy’s comments shouldn’t surprise anyone and I’m sure it doesn’t surprise the league, no one outside of saints* fans expected any less. This is akin to a kid’s parents (local judge) supporting him/her even if the ultimate judge (Federal Appeals Court) will follow the law and rule otherwise. After judge judy’s personal desire is determined in her ruling (sic), saints* fans will be talking up a storm and pounding their chests………….and then the air will be let out of their balloon when the Federal Appeals Court decides to follow the law and overturns her order. Then we will hear how Goodell and the NFL have the “fix” in with the Appeals Court. Guaranteed this is the next chapter in bountygate.

  34. tbtrojan says: Aug 10, 2012 11:46 AM

    So the judge has made up her mind before even hearing the case.
    Sounds like the commish is gonna get “Goodelled.”
    Lets see how he likes it, maybe she could deny him the chance to review all the evidence or tell him what he’s trying to defend.

    I dislike the Saints and Vilma as much as anyone but somebody has got to reign in Goodells ego. Sure the CBA says he has the right to punish guilty players but he hasn’t actually shown anything which points to them being guilty. If he doesn’t have to tell players what they are guilty ofd or show any real evidence what’s stopping him just suspending players simply because he doesn’t like them? He’s powermad enough that I wouldn’t put it past him.

  35. eaglebobby says: Aug 10, 2012 11:47 AM

    TK41–Vilma HASN’T LOST any money–yet. Players don’t get paid their full salary until the season starts. At most, he might lose his camp per diem.

  36. jared2020 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:47 AM

    The ignorance spewing from some of these comments are laughable. How hypocritical are some of these replies?

    The concept of this oral argument is not a hard one to grasp. See the above post by TK41.

    I guess the common public who have been indoctrinated by the media firestorm, during the whole New Orleans Saints Bounty Hunter reporting; are too thick to understand that maybe just maybe, Goodell way overstepped his bounds in the punishments, did not really have solid evidence to support his punishments, allowed the players and the Saints organization burn under the firestorm of media chastizing them for the so called ” paying to hurt other players”.

  37. pongonfl says: Aug 10, 2012 11:50 AM

    Vilma thought he was very clever to lie to the commish about the bountys and keep it happening.
    Vilma thought he was very clever to sue the commissioner when he was disciplined.
    Vilma will not think he is very clever when every player he hits on the field sues him after the game.
    But he likely doesn’t care, he will be joining the class action against the NFL for concussions by then, testifying to this same judge that the commish didnt do enough to protect him.
    HERO

  38. evidenceprobe says: Aug 10, 2012 11:51 AM

    For al of u out there that are saying “wait she is already predetermined on her ruling just looking for ways to justify it”…

    Isn’t that what goodell did? Stop drinking the haterade and see Ur foolish ways. Goodell should “take his medicine and get over it” lol. Oh the irony

  39. thejuddstir says: Aug 10, 2012 11:51 AM

    tscarlato says:Aug 10, 2012 11:40 AM
    In the United States every person has the right to confront evidence against him. Even Jonathan Vilma.
    The commish appears to have ignored this.
    Apparently this judge will not. Good for her.
    ———————————————
    You are right in theory……but you are overlooking one important fact. No matter what you think is right, you are required to show up in court to argue and defend yourself against that evidence. Just because you don’t think a judge will rule your way isn’t a defense against not showing up……….countless times. It’s part of the reason this judge judy is searching high and low for any reason to rule in Vilma’s favor. I’m sure every criminal would love to be able to say they don’t trust the judge in their case so I’m not going to show up for any of the hearings and that should prove I’m innocent. Doesn’t work that way my friend.

  40. theuglitruth says: Aug 10, 2012 11:56 AM

    So basically she made a preemptive apology. A political statement before she has to deliver the bad news. “If I could, I would”. She is obligated to stick to the rule of the law, and that is in favor of the NFL. She knows it!

  41. miamisaint3255 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:58 AM

    there is zero chance there will be a ruling today. Judge has to figure out IF she has authority to rule in favor of Vilma at this time. That will take a while to figure out. An interesting legal question.

    It is obvious to any one looking at the facts, including the judge here, that the NFL treated Vilma and the others punished extremely unfairly, that the process dictated by the NFL is disgraceful and a sham.

    The latter was never really in question. Even the NFL lawyers understand and concede that point. But the question at issue is the former – can the court do anything about the sham here.

  42. tannethrill says: Aug 10, 2012 11:58 AM

    This is actually quite interesting. One of the things that draws me to the NFL is the fact that the league is set up with its own set of rules and laws, some quite more stringent than US law.

    The fact that Goodell can punish absent full guilt is very intriguing to me. Honestly I tend to agree with his thought process and do feel that he’s best case scenario in terms of his morality.

    As long as he doesn’t make a decision based on emotion or gut feeling he’s good. I believe he got the names right in terms of what he knew went on. Maybe he went a bit far with the suspensions but that was just to compensate for shortened terms based on behavior or making a deal.

    Saints didn’t cooperate and chose this route. Goodell was simply looking to make a statement to the fans in the end. Media was going to blow it up either way and Goodell had no choice but to make a move. The players involved chose to deny when they could have apologized and taken the high road. Goodell would have taken care of them if they handled this the right way.

    It’s not Goodell’s fault this was existent on other teams too which is I’m sure what these players are saying to themselves. I’m sure they’re pissed they got caught when others didn’t for so long but on again, not Goodell’s fault.

    Judge should get them all together and talk some sense into two sides playing chicken at this point. Both need to save face and move on.

    My ruling would be remove the suspensions, add fines but further the level of consequence for the Saints. Take picks and/or cap space. Maybe some practices next off season too.

    Let the fight go down between Goodell and Benson and this will get done.

  43. lgbarn says: Aug 10, 2012 11:58 AM

    jimr10 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:04 AM

    Looks like Kessler and smith now own the NFL. why is anyone surprised a liberal democrat judge would rule in favor of what is right.

    ————————————————-

    Only really stupid people believe that only liberal judges make bad decisions. Fact is, both sides make horrible decisions at times. Campaign finance being at the top of the list for conservatives. Please leave the political commentary on foxnews or cnn. I just want to hear about football.

  44. jared2020 says: Aug 10, 2012 11:59 AM

    I dare say if some of us were the judge in that court room today, hearing some of the intricacies of this process, and how RG handled this situation.. We may be shocked to feel the same way as this judge did today.

    I am a neutral party in this. I want to see “discovery” of ALL THE “EVIDENCE”, RG had and in turn used in his decision process to punish the players, coaches, and organization.

    If it is not up to snuff. If it is as benign as all of the other pay for performance programs that have been going on throughout the league for years.. One must question Goodell’s motive in this. Is it to “protect the game”, or is it posturing for the future injury lawsuits by retired players?

  45. silentcount says: Aug 10, 2012 11:59 AM

    The key point to remember — If Vilma did not do what Goodell publicly accused him of, then it would be wrong for him to serve a one year suspension. Credible players and coaches have sworn under oath that Vilma is innocent, and Goodell hasn’t shown valid proof to Vilma that he’s guilty. Perhaps many of the commenters here should stop eagerly supporting Goodell simply so their team could have a better chance of beating a wounded Saints team.

  46. saintondabeach says: Aug 10, 2012 12:37 PM

    Federal Judges do not coddle frivolous claims and the fact that she continues to weigh the effects of individual clauses in the CBA indicates that under the applicable labor law she has the ability to interpret an agreement where the language produces unresolved conflicts. Normal contract rules hold that a specific clause overrides a general clause, but I do not know if this is true in labor law. I also believe the Judge may have felt that the NFL appeal process has not yet run its course. Last hearing she observed that the failure to form the appeal panel was a CBA violation, now they have so she has a legitimate reason to withhold any decision because the facts have now been altered by the defendant. I would believe that if the panel does not address the issue which she outlined today, the conflict between the Conduct Detrimental and Pay for Performance clauses, then they will have given her a clear path to apply a judicial determination to a contract which is internally inconsistent.

  47. eaglebranded says: Aug 10, 2012 12:41 PM

    What if the player who told all this stuff is still on the team. Should the NFL say who he is and what he said. Will the team keep the guy and let him play. Will he make it out new Orleans if people knew who he was ? Vilma knows its too dangerous to do that so he is playing his cards .

  48. flipx99 says: Aug 10, 2012 12:46 PM

    geniusfan says:Aug 10, 2012 11:18 AM

    What do you expect? She’s a Louisiana judge and wants to get re-elected.

    Conflict of interest.
    _________________________________

    Hey “genius” fan — she is a federal judge with a lifetime appointment.

  49. really2011 says: Aug 10, 2012 12:58 PM

    Boy these comments get interesting – forget the fact that the Judge is being criticized for allegedly doing what we know Goodell has done (pre-determine the outcome). Even if that were accurate it still makes critics hypocritical, but feel free to peruse any live updates…

    Comments like…
    Judge- “I would like to rule in Vilma’s favor. I do think you exhausted your remedies.”

    “I do think you exhausted remedies before Mr. Goodell. You were thwarted at every turn by Goodell. Penalties were too harsh.”

    “However, I don’t think you’ve exhausted remedies under Burbanks, so I’m not sure I can do anything.”

    Judge thinks process was unfair, punishment excessive, and that RG did not have power to discipline in these cases.

    Berrigan looked like she wants to stay out and for NFL/players to settle for suspensions.

    No ruling from judge. Urges parties to talk because she will need time to decide. Settlement may be faster than her decision.

    May need to exhaust internal appeal of burbank ruling & judge suggests that cartoffs are bounties. So, mostly good for plyrs, but bag mixed

    Long story short there is a long list of tweets about this event and this isn’t the first installment. There have already been testimonies and hearings and even this morning she had already delved into cartoffs etc prior to talking about her thoughts. The fact that so many “fans” can read a story or comment out of context and draw a sweeping opinion is the genesis and continuation of this issue.

    How about some with such strong opinions actually leave the article and find the rest of the detail before you decide what someone did, lied, and sued about.

  50. dkalev says: Aug 10, 2012 12:58 PM

    I hope Vilma loses .. no disrespect, but if he wins, it sets precedent that the players run the league… they gave goodell all the power in exchange for more money and now are using the court system to get the power back? entirely unfair…. forget bounties, id ban him for life just for this

  51. johnnyjagfan says: Aug 10, 2012 1:02 PM

    @geniusfan:

    She’s a federal judge with lifetime tenure. She doesn’t have elections.

    May be time for a new username..

  52. musicman495 says: Aug 10, 2012 1:03 PM

    eaglebranded says: Aug 10, 2012 12:41 PM

    What if the player who told all this stuff is still on the team. Should the NFL say who he is and what he said. Will the team keep the guy and let him play.
    ————————-
    Who says it was a player? Who says it was not some disgruntled former office staffer who had an axe to grind and has no credibility at all in terms of their ability to know the truth?

    My guess is that this NFL excuse that “we want to protect whistle blowers” is a sanctimonious, phony smokescreen. I say there are two reasons why Goodell will not reveal the evidence – the “evidence” and “witnesses” will not stand up to scrutiny (as in fact we have already seen with the so-called “ledger”), and/or the evidence also includes evidence that this practice was widespread all over the league, which he does not want to become public because of the concussion lawsuits.

  53. brenenostler says: Aug 10, 2012 1:15 PM

    Vilma did it. He knows. Ok, yes the evidence may not be specific enough to show that he was directly involved.

    But really Vilma? Do you really want to be that guy? Your coaches took “full responsibility” for what happened….

  54. sclement65 says: Aug 10, 2012 1:31 PM

    I hope Vilma loses .. no disrespect, but if he wins, it sets precedent that the players run the league… they gave goodell all the power in exchange for more money and now are using the court system to get the power back? entirely unfair…. forget bounties, id ban him for life just for this

    No, it keeps Goodell from making crap up.

  55. grandpoopah says: Aug 10, 2012 1:34 PM

    The law, as interpreted by the judge, should determine the outcome of a case. Here the judge has already determined the outcome and will now just interpret the law in whatever way is necessary to produce that pre-determined outcome. There is a name for courts that operate like that, and it is has nothing to do with the Outback.

  56. sb44wrldchmpions says: Aug 10, 2012 1:50 PM

    Nobody, anywhere in this country, has the authority to punish someone for an acquisition without proof. Not at work, school (private or public), sports etc. I don’t understand what you ppl don’t understand about that. Whether you or Goodell THINK Vilma or the players/coaches are guilty is irrelevant. Prove it!! I hope Vilma and all involved get a slap on the wrist just because of how Goodell handled this. There’s not one person on here who can watch the games from the last three seasons and point out one single play where it look like a saints player tried to hurt someone on purpose. If you think they did, then go look up Ray Lewis, Laron Laundry, Troy P., and all those other players who don’t try let ppl know who there when they have a chance. Clearly most of y’all who comment on here have never played or was not any good at football and do not know how the game is taught and played from little league up.

  57. dx316ns says: Aug 10, 2012 1:57 PM

    Go Packers!

  58. 4evrnyt says: Aug 10, 2012 2:01 PM

    If Vilma gets off it’ll be a shame. Let’s just apply the O.J. tag here and stop acting like this guy even deserves to have a hearing in the first place. He’s guilty, we all know he’s guilty and yet there is still a chance he could get off.

    This judge should be ashamed of herself if she doesn’t anything but dismiss the players request to overturn the suspensions.

    @jimr10 : you are the smartest most intelligent person I’ve ever read a blog post from. You’re view is exactly right on and correct and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about your intelligence level or complete and total lack there of. I wish there were more people like you in the world just so I could continue to feel like the smartest person alive.

  59. jealst says: Aug 10, 2012 2:13 PM

    dennisatunity says:
    Aug 10, 2012 11:21 AM
    That is very odd. She makes her decision first and then she is going to search for the legal foundation with which to justify it? She is supposed to see where the law takes her, not make a decision first and then look for support. I don’t care which side you support, how messed up is that?

    ____________________________

    About as messed up as when Goodell did it to the players.

     

  60. CKL says: Aug 10, 2012 2:18 PM

    panamon says:
    Aug 10, 2012 11:09 AM
    Regardless of what she does the final outcome will also include Vilma posting something silly on Twitter.
    ________________________________
    Isn’t that the truth? He may well be 100% right in his fight, but his attitude reflected by his comments is very unprofessional.

  61. twisteditoff says: Aug 10, 2012 2:29 PM

    this judges comments should be ground for disbar

  62. FinFan68 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:58 PM

    tscarlato says:
    Aug 10, 2012 11:42 AM
    Billsfan,

    In this case it’s more like the juror saying “if you don’t show me any evidence to support your claim then I’m going to find for the other guy.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The one making a “claim” in this court is Vilma, not the league. Simply saying the process was unfair should not be enough for Vilma to win. He would have to show evidence to support his claim that the league violated the process agreed upon in the CBA. That should be pretty hard to do since he 1) failed to participate in the investigation 2) chose not to discuss the initial findings with Goodell 3) grandstanded and left the appeal process and 4) never offered a defense of any kind until the process he is complaining about was over.

  63. fmwarner says: Aug 10, 2012 3:26 PM

    Do this many of you idiots really not know what a judge’s job is? You’re all complaining that she’s not being impartial (a word you don’t know the definition of) because she’s formed an opinion.

    What are judges there for if not to render an opinion? Judges should approach a trial with impartiality, but the nature of their job is to let the facts of the case sway them one way or another. She’s clearly found Vilma’s arguments more compelling, but isn’t sure if there is a legal remedy.

    What do you think would happen if a judge failed to have an opinion on every case before them?

  64. zinn22 says: Aug 10, 2012 3:34 PM

    What the Judge appears to be doing here is trying to put pressure on both parties to settle. She let Vilma and the league know that Vilma had met some of the elements he needed to succeed in that the hearings were unfair and lacked due process but to succeed he needs to show Goodell went beyond his authority and power. That element will become clearer once they arbitrator makes his decision. She is sending a message to both parties here that they may lose and they should consider a settlement before 8/30.

    Often times judges realize something is unfair and want to correct bit but the law that party. Oftentimes they will express their outrage at the bad actor but still decide in that partys favor. That is what she seems to be saying here. That unless the arbitrator decides in the players favor or Vilmas lawyers can give her a better legal theory she is going to decide with the league. Even though that is something she would rather not do.

    One thing that is taught and drilled into every lawyer in law school is fairness and the importance of due process. Something Vilma was not granted here. I am not surprised she was outraged. But things like this happen everyday where judges have to decide against people they think are right and have been unfailry damaged. But in this case its not because of poor law but because of a poor agreement made by the players.

  65. mwindle1973 says: Aug 10, 2012 4:02 PM

    mwindle1973 says: Aug 10, 2012 12:58 PM

    mwindle1973 says: Aug 10, 2012 12:20 PM

    I think the key words here are, “if I can find a legal way to do it.” It implies that she is trying to find a legal way to do it and can’t. This jives with my suspicion that this is an improper attempt to circumvent a collective bargaining process just like the NFL claims. Just because the judge thinks Vilma is right, doesn’t mean the law will allow her to side with him. Anyway her decision is largely irrelevant if she rules for Vilma. His lawyer picked this court. They picked a judge that they thought might rule in their favor. They won’t have that advantage when it is appealed. On the other hand if she doesn’t rule in favor of Vilma no judge probably will. But they know they have little chance of winning. It’s all about getting the suspension put on hold so he can play this season.

    ______________

    You can see I posted this at 12:20 then it is deleted. WHy? I guess there is an obvious attempt to rid the article of comments that point out the obvious.
    __________________

    See what I mean…check back deleted again. You can clearly see I posted comment at 12:20 then copied it, FLorio deletes, I post at 12:58, copy again, then FLorio deletes, I post again. SO you can clearly see his lack of professional values doesn’t just apply to articles like this.

  66. mrpowers88 says: Aug 10, 2012 4:17 PM

    “As a result, there’s a chance that the players could ultimately lose — but only after they have been permitted to play all of the 2012 season.”

    The more Vilma (and Brees) talk to the media, the more I think this is the outcome they’re realistically shooting for.

  67. mvkitchen says: Aug 10, 2012 4:35 PM

    For everyone saying the judge has already predetermined her decision before the trial… Youe do realize both sides already presented their cases to her last week, right? So unless “predetermined” means that she decided her view hearing both sides, then I’m not sure what you mean.

  68. packhawk04 says: Aug 10, 2012 8:35 PM

    Her decision wasn’t predetermined, all she’s saying is the NFL wasn’t fair in this, but it sucks that the players agreed to give Goodell full authority. We’ll keep trying to find a loophole to save the players from thier own decisions, but im not sure we’ll find one.

  69. chi01town says: Aug 10, 2012 10:33 PM

    The truth is the Saints cheated an they got cought NOW they have to pay the price. I am NOT a fan of Goodell in FACT I think hes more DANGEROUS to the NFL than the Saints but that dont mean the Saints should get away with trying to hurt other players.

  70. thoap975 says: Aug 11, 2012 5:02 AM

    “geniusfan says: Aug 10, 2012 11:18 AM

    What do you expect? She’s a Louisiana judge and wants to get re-elected.

    Conflict of interest.”

    I’ve read stupidity before, but this takes the cake…and on top of it there are 260 dumb-asses that thumbed it up. No wonder this country is in the shape it is in with these gullible sheeples. Re-elected…were you kidding?

  71. ON SECOND THOUGHT... says: Aug 11, 2012 8:19 AM

    Last time I checked.. this was still America… where is the evidence? If Goodell has it.. let him release it & shut up everyone… everybody’s jumping on the “they got caught cheating” bandwagon…. where is the evidence? If he produced it.. this would all end. Is it possible? maybe possible? that there is NO EVIDENCE….. maybe somebody got a bit power hungry & ran with a disgruntled employee’s rantings without getting solid proof. Come on people… this isn’t Nazi Germany & Goodell isn’t the dictator. Let the system work. Stop hating. Let the truth work it’s way out.

  72. mwindle1973 says: Aug 11, 2012 2:13 PM

    You know everyone keeps saying the judge said Goodell doesn’t have the evidence. That’s not what she said. She said she felt the process was unfair. THat doesn’t mean she feels Vilma is free from wrong doing. I happen to think she’s letting her personal opinion be heard, while admitting there is nothing she knows of legally that can be done about it…yet. But if she hasn’t found legal precedent by now, when will she?

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