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Federal judge gives players until Wednesday to file motion to recuse Tagliabue

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Contrary to the beliefs of certain non-lawyers who may be able to read but not fully comprehend what they’re reading, the NFLPA has not yet officially asked former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to step aside from his new role as the person who’ll decide the appeals in the bounty cases.

And the NFLPA likely never will.

Instead, the request will be made if at all to Judge Helen Berrigan by Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. CT.  If the motion for recusal is made, the NFL will have until Friday at 5:00 p.m. CT to respond, according to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  Then, the players have until 12:00 p.m. CT on Monday to file their final written submission on the matter.

As Holder points out, the timeline could make it difficult to proceed with an appeal hearing on October 30, especially if Judge Berrigan doesn’t promptly rule on the issue after the players have the last word in writing.

There’s no indication as to whether Tagliabue has responded, or even will respond, to the letter sent by the NFLPA on Monday.  The players are concerned about Tagliabue’s employment with Covington & Burling, the law firm that represents the NFL in bounty-related litigation and other matters.  Also, the players apparently intend to call Tagliabue as a witness in the bounty cases (including the appeal hearing), given the ESPN report on “Smash for Cash” from the day of Super Bowl XXXI, in early 1997, when Tagliabue was the Commissioner and the league office apparently condoned player-funded “pay-for-performance” pools.

The fact that Judge Berrigan is willing to entertain the motion for recusal suggests that she believes she has the power to block Tagliabue from serving as the arbitrator.  The NFL likely will claim, if the motion is filed, that the courts have no authority over an arbitration process until the ruling has been issued.

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22 Responses to “Federal judge gives players until Wednesday to file motion to recuse Tagliabue”
  1. citizenstrange says: Oct 23, 2012 2:43 PM

    LKF (Little Known Fact)
    The original lyrics for Hendrix’s Purple Haze were “recuse me while I kiss the sky.”

  2. SeenThisB4 says: Oct 23, 2012 2:43 PM

    Actually, the court does have that authority over the arbitration.

  3. crush1128 says: Oct 23, 2012 2:44 PM

    this so f**ked up.

  4. thraiderskin says: Oct 23, 2012 2:57 PM

    Maybe the players want Vilma to oversee the bounty appeals.

  5. marthisdil says: Oct 23, 2012 3:04 PM

    SeenThisB4 says: Oct 23, 2012 2:43 PM

    Actually, the court does have that authority over the arbitration.

    ====================

    Actually, not really – not unless she wants to declare the CBA invalid.

    Since it’s not a criminal law that has been broken, the players still have to deal with the due process the CBA forces them to abide by.

  6. purplegreenandgold says: Oct 23, 2012 3:05 PM

    “Contrary to the beliefs of certain non-lawyers who may be able to read but not fully comprehend what they’re reading”
    ======================================
    as a Saints fan I got more of a chuckle out of this than after the game Sunday

  7. dvdman123 says: Oct 23, 2012 3:14 PM

    A lot of lawyers have made a ton of money since March 2012 and they still have a lot more to make before this mess is finally over with.

  8. willardj says: Oct 23, 2012 3:20 PM

    Definitely agree with you on this one. Suh wasn’t trying to lay out Cutler, he just fell on him awkwardly and hurt a few of his ribs.

  9. kattykathy says: Oct 23, 2012 3:20 PM

    Contrary to the beliefs of Goodell lovers who may be able to read and hear but not fully comprehend what they are reading or hearing, the Saints did NOT have a “bounty” program.

  10. kattykathy says: Oct 23, 2012 3:24 PM

    Here we go again with all these simple minded saints haters. Seriously, to come on here and make statements that the judge has no authority makes you look so moronic.
    I think i will trust Judge Berrigan’s legal opinion on over yours EVERY DAY, whether or not she has authority.

  11. FinFan68 says: Oct 23, 2012 3:26 PM

    Why would the judge make such a statement concerning a case that was put on hiatus? The NFLPA/player lawyers have not brought this matter to the court yet so why prompt them? If you listen to this judge’s comments (before and after listening to argument) it seems as if the NFL/Goodell have as much of a case for recusal of Berrigan as the players do for Tagliabue…actually more so. This judge seems to be steering the actions rather than adjudicating them. I understand the need for swift decisions but the process started over and has not yet completed. After it is done, the players can request a hearing with the judge and then she should offer an opinion/guidance.

  12. clickablecontent says: Oct 23, 2012 3:28 PM

    Who would the NFLPA possibly accept? From their perspective, anyone currently working for the NFL – under Goodell, or anyone appointed by Goodell or the NFL would inherently share his bias. The only recourse the NFLPA could possibly be pushing for is an unrelated 3rd-party – which is exactly what the NFL is fighting: Outside and/or government control over NFL matters. It’s just not going to happen. The short of it is that the NFLPA wants to dictate NFL practices. This is a power play by the union, pure and simple.

  13. miles58a says: Oct 23, 2012 3:30 PM

    Goodell is giving the courts authority by not following the CBA and providing evidence

  14. mark0226 says: Oct 23, 2012 3:45 PM

    Seems to me that if they successfully eliminate Tags, then Goodell will just do it himself again.

  15. ghjjf says: Oct 23, 2012 4:02 PM

    The only thing this judge (or any judge) can legally do is declare that the CBA is illegal.

  16. marthisdil says: Oct 23, 2012 4:10 PM

    The league should file to have the NFLPA lawyers removed, too, as a conflict of interest – since they represent the people accused of offering money to hurt other players AND the players who may have been hurt by these players.

    Force the players to pay for their own lawyer.

  17. miles58a says: Oct 23, 2012 4:34 PM

    marthisdil says:
    Oct 23, 2012 4:10 PM
    The league should file to have the NFLPA lawyers removed, too, as a conflict of interest – since they represent the people accused of offering money to hurt other players AND the players who may have been hurt by these players.

    Force the players to pay for their own lawyer.
    ==============================

    If the NFLPA made up of players who may have been hurt (If Guilty) are backing them doesn’t that tell you somthing.

  18. genericuser8888 says: Oct 23, 2012 4:50 PM

    In theory, federal judges always have power over any CBA. If one party claims that the basic tenants of fairness prescribed in federal labor law have been violated, then a judge can look and decide if the process has been fair or not. While the CBA attempts to keep matters out of court, agreements such as the CBA are only allowed to exist so long as they abide by federal labor laws. For example, the players gave Goodell power over punishments, but they did so with a basic expectation of fairness. Such expectations are in line with labor law. Now, what constitutes “fair” – well, the players and the league disagree over that at times, and that is why we are where we are today – federal court.

    To paraphrase Vilma’s lawyer, if the CBA process is unfair, then the courts are a player’s only recourse to be made whole.

  19. heroofthisparish says: Oct 23, 2012 5:29 PM

    If the NFLPA made up of players who may have been hurt (If Guilty) are backing them doesn’t that tell you somthing.

    —————————–

    Yes it does: the NFLPA is perpetually overly militant for the sake of it and determined to destroy the NFL as something we can all be interested in.

  20. stew48 says: Oct 23, 2012 5:32 PM

    Now, if you commenters really want to have an understanding about this matter, just read “8888”, study it and then swallow it, because that is precisely “what it is all about”.

  21. stew48 says: Oct 23, 2012 5:35 PM

    I should have offered one correction to 8888. The first two words, “In theory”, need to be replaced by the word actualy.

  22. thelastpieceofcheese says: Oct 23, 2012 6:16 PM

    “There’s no indication as to whether Tagliabue has responded, or even will respond, to the letter sent by the NFLPA on Monday”

    Why would Tagliabue waste his time with junk mail?

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