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Fight emerges in Super Bowl lawsuit over testimony from Goodell

Roger Goodell AP

Lost and largely forgotten in the league’s various legal entanglements is the fact that a class-action lawsuit still lingers regarding the seating fiasco at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.

As the case proceeds, a fight has emerged regarding the question of whether the plaintiffs will be permitted to question Commissioner Roger Goodell under oath, in a pre-trial deposition.

The NFL has filed a motion in court to block the deposition.  The plaintiffs have filed a written response.  We’ve obtained a copy of the latter.

Apart from the fact that reading the paperwork makes me feel even better about the fact that I no longer practice law, the dispute brings into focus the tension between gathering evidence necessary to prove a case and putting the tactical squeeze on someone who doesn’t want to have to answer questions under oath — and who in turn has the power to make the entire case go away by authorizing a settlement.

The problem for the league is that the discovery process contemplates a very broad range of permissible inquiries.  Moreover, judges often don’t react well when they sense that someone with power is trying to make a power play to avoid being involved.

In this case, however, there’s no dispute regarding the league’s responsibility for the debacle.  The question is the fair measure of damages to be paid to the folks who showed up to the Super Bowl with tickets that weren’t honored.  Unless Goodell has knowledge that in some way sheds light on the money lost by the plaintiffs who traveled to Dallas at significant expense to attend a football game they didn’t get to attend, this fairly obvious effort to apply pressure should fail.

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10 Responses to “Fight emerges in Super Bowl lawsuit over testimony from Goodell”
  1. goodellgate says: Nov 16, 2012 1:42 PM

    Roger doesn’t want to speak under oath ?? Go figure..

  2. chargerdillon says: Nov 16, 2012 2:12 PM

    For as much as a premium as one would pay to attend a game like a Superbowl including all the additional costs that go along with it. To ruin a large groups experience because of horrible mismanagement eventually needs to fall back on Roger.

    And even if it’s a bunch of pissed off fans beratign him in court, IT’S DESERVEDLY SO.

    That’s a once in a lifetime experience of which the NFL makes you pay very dearly for. Roger as the figurehead and not Jerry Jones, needs to be held to answer for these problems.

    The fish rots from the head down, Roger needs some humble pie for thanksgiving

  3. sb44champs says: Nov 16, 2012 2:32 PM

    Unless Goodell has knowledge that in some way sheds light on the money lost by the plaintiffs who traveled to Dallas at significant expense to attend a football game they didn’t get to attend, this fairly obvious effort to apply pressure should fail.
    ============================
    GODell is a huge FAILURE..

  4. muskyhunter2542 says: Nov 16, 2012 2:36 PM

    Under oath someone should ask if he really thinks the scab refs made the right call!!!

  5. sullijo1 says: Nov 16, 2012 2:41 PM

    Lawyers are going to ruin the NFL……you heard it here first.

  6. kabasaman says: Nov 16, 2012 2:43 PM

    The owners need a new mouthpiece… This guy is the worst commissioner in major sports. Well, maybe the hockey dude,…. but that’s it.

  7. mdd913 says: Nov 16, 2012 2:52 PM

    I no longer believe a single word that comes out of Goodell’s mouth. He’s shown himself to be power-hungry, ego-driven, greedy and dishonest.

  8. cwwgk says: Nov 16, 2012 3:18 PM

    As the article points out, there’s no need to take Goodell’s deposition. The league has already admitted fault so the only question to be resolved is to how much the plaintiffs are entitled. Goodell has no greater knowledge on that subject than anyone else. His deposition would be a worthless exercise, a position the Court will likely take.

    This article is about the discovery process in a lawsuit. Yet, people still take the opportunity to express their considerable distaste for a commissioner who, by all accounts, is highly regarded by the only people who matter: the NFL owners.

    Not sure if the dissent is derived from the posters’ general insecurity about themselves, their hatred of their own bosses or authority figures as a whole. Ultimately, it’s unfortunate they have such vitriol towards an individual they’ve never even met.

  9. rcali says: Nov 16, 2012 4:03 PM

    All of this because of greed by the Cowboys and NFL to squeeze more people into cramped seats with a bad view. Greed.

  10. seanx40 says: Nov 16, 2012 4:09 PM

    Why hasn’t the league just settled this by now? Every time it comes up it is horrible PR. Just settle this. The NFL has enough of a PR problem with everything these days. Why spend so much time on something that can be dealt with.

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