Skip to content

Vilma files final brief on recusal issue

hi-res-82908660_crop_exact Getty Images

With most of the attention focusing on the storm that’s bearing down on the East Coast, the legal storm fueled by the bounty case still won’t go away.  In Louisiana, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has filed his final legal brief in support of the effort to oust former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as the new bounty appeal hearing officer.

The brief, a copy of which PFT has obtained, doesn’t contain anything new from a legal or factual standpoint.  The players continue to believe that Tagliabue has a conflict of interest via his employment with the league’s primary outside law firm, his direct ongoing employment with the league, and his possible status as a witness.  The NFL believes that the labor deal gives Commissioner Roger Goodell the ability to hand the baton to Taliabue, and that the league has the ability to waive any potential conflicts of interest Tagliabue may have.

The larger question, as one league source posed it recently, is why the players weren’t willing to try their luck with Tagliabue?  He’s regarded as someone who would be fair, and who wouldn’t feel compelled to agree with Goodell.

But as another source put it, “fair” is a relative term.  “I personally think he would be as fair as he could be,” the source said, “but the question is how fair is that and is that really impartial.  Is he capable of that given his position?”

Even though the NFLPA has agreed to allow the Commissioner or his designee to handle these appeals, federal law entitles both sides to an impartial arbitrator.  It will be for Judge Helen Berrigan to decide whether Tagliabue fits that description, given his connection to the NFL and the law firm of Covington & Burling.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill
12 Responses to “Vilma files final brief on recusal issue”
  1. vbe2 says: Oct 29, 2012 3:04 PM

    What legal standing does he have here? The NFLPA agreed to allow Goodell to hear the appeals or to appoint someone to hear the appeals on his behalf.

    If Vilma doesn’t want to live by that agreement then he needs to leave the union and go out on his own on this.

  2. cletusvandam says: Oct 29, 2012 3:16 PM

    After watching Vilma play lasy night the Saints probably wish he’s just take the suspensions!

  3. goodellgate says: Oct 29, 2012 3:26 PM

    Come on Roger, you say you have overwhelming evidence that Saints are guilty. Just show it to an impartial arbitrator and put an end to this thing.

  4. jason1980 says: Oct 29, 2012 3:28 PM

    Or perhaps Mr. Vilma can leave the country, because federal law doesn’t seem to mean squat to the NFL, where fairness, and due process regarding evidence is a foreign concept. NFL fans who are practically all devoid of legal skills, or fairness, unless it’s their team can rant until the cows come home, standing up for your rights in this country is still considered admirable to most who think for themselves. The respect that I have for Mr. Vilma is off the charts, you continue to stand up for yourself sir, it’s the American way.

  5. cwwgk says: Oct 29, 2012 4:02 PM

    By any objective measure, Vilma isn’t standing up for his rights. He’s complaining that he should have rights which don’t exist. Vilma’s beef is with the NFLPA, not the NFL.

  6. nflfan555 says: Oct 29, 2012 4:06 PM

    Let him play the Aints are irrelevant… who cares now…

  7. chicagobtech says: Oct 29, 2012 4:08 PM

    Question for you Mike: If Vilma’s brief today contains nothing new, is there a potential issue with Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure?

  8. hor2012 says: Oct 29, 2012 4:12 PM

    I’m just tired of this now. I can’t wait till next year

  9. footballfan58 says: Oct 29, 2012 4:24 PM

    This is beginning to remind me of someone else who commented on what the definition of “is” is. A lot of fancy dancin’ going on instead of just following the rules.

  10. mazblast says: Oct 29, 2012 6:47 PM

    What legal standing does he have here? The NFLPA agreed to allow Goodell to hear the appeals or to appoint someone to hear the appeals on his behalf.

    If Vilma doesn’t want to live by that agreement then he needs to leave the union and go out on his own on this.
    ———————————
    If the CBA conflicts with federal law, the latter takes precedence and the provision allowing The Great Goodell Himself Live And In Person to appoint the arbitrator is void.

  11. vbe2 says: Oct 29, 2012 7:29 PM

    mazblast says:Oct 29, 2012 6:47 PM

    If the CBA conflicts with federal law…
    ——————————-

    It doesn’t.

  12. flipx99 says: Oct 29, 2012 8:10 PM

    chicagobtech says:Oct 29, 2012 4:08 PM

    Question for you Mike: If Vilma’s brief today contains nothing new, is there a potential issue with Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure?

    _____________________________

    Congrats on having heard of Rule 11 — but no. You are way off.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!