Jim Turner opts not to sue Dolphins or NFL, for now

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The lawsuit filed Monday by former Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner against Ted Wells and his law firm didn’t include the Dolphins or the NFL as defendants. That doesn’t mean the team or the league will never be added to the proceedings.

Based on what Turner’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, learns during the “discovery” phase of the suit against Wells and the Paul, Weiss firm, Ginsberg could decide to amend the complaint to add the team or the league as defendants. Alternatively, it’s possible (albeit highly unlikely) that Wells and Paul, Weiss could add the Dolphins or the NFL as “third-party defendants,” arguing that the any liability the lawyer and his firm may have to Turner traces to the team and/or the league. (That would be an aggressive approach, slamming the door on the Paul, Weiss firm as a provider of legal services for the NFL in the future.)

If Turner were to sue the team or the league, the first argument likely would be that he must pursue any claims against his former employer through arbitration — a standard, non-negotiable clause in the contracts coaches are required to sign if they want to work for an NFL team. And that would likely spark an argument that an arbitration process that places the Commissioner in the position to resolve claims against the team and/or the league that employes him is inherently unfair, citing the recent decision of the Missouri Supreme Court in a case brought against the Rams by a former equipment manager.

Since Wells was supposedly “independent” (even if he really wasn’t), the lawyer and his firm likely won’t be able to argue that they arbitration clause extends to them. Which means that the case against Wells and the Paul, Weiss firm will proceed, unless and until they can find some other silver-bullet argument that ends the case before it goes to a jury.

19 responses to “Jim Turner opts not to sue Dolphins or NFL, for now

  1. Goodell has really made a mess of things. I honestly just dont remember players and coaches constantly going to court with the league when Tagliabue was commish but maybe im wrong.

  2. Well, they certainly have enough money to sue for

    ESPN reported Goodell has paid them $45 million over the last 2 years

    This word “independence?”

    I don’t think it means what Ted Wells thinks it means

  3. Really couldn’t happen to a more deserving lawyer. I really hope justice is served and Wells sees first hand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of his arguably illegal and unfair practices.

  4. Wells adding the NFL as codefendents could easily be construed as a claim that Wells was not independent. I wonder if the NFL would then counter-move to deny it, claiming that Wells was an independent contractor.

    A little extra butter and salt on my popcorn, please. Discovery is so entertaining. Sometimes the motions to prevent and/or restrict discovery are even more so.

  5. …That would be an aggressive approach, slamming the door on the Paul, Weiss firm as a provider of legal services for the NFL in the future…

    Don’t we think that door has been slammed shut by the DeflateGate fiasco, no matter how Judge Berman brings the fiasco to an end?

  6. Maybe he was fired also because he wasn’t very good. Has he got another job yet? If not, why not if he’s good? Incognito is bound to “sound off ” too because he lost his job, so why the surprise he has something to say?

  7. Anyone still think that Wells is anything other than a lackey for Goodell? This is reprehensible, I understood that Wells was someone whose reputation was unassailable, and we all thought that his work on Martin and the Dolphins was detailed and thorough. Now we know that this is a pattern of behavior by Goodell. He got away with it once. But now that we can see how they misrepresented Brady’s testimony because the transcript was made public, it is crystal clear, that Wells is not independent and that he is an aggressive and biased counsel for Goodell whose charter is not protecting the public interest, but simply furthering the interest of his client.

  8. Wells’ client was the league. Good luck discovering much. Those communications are protected by privilege.

  9. Article VIII of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws states that the Owners of the NFL “SHALL” hire and employ a Commissioner with UNQUESTIONED INTEGRITY

    Roger Goodell has a LITANY of questions regarding his integrity, being caught in lies going back several scandals

    When will the OWNERS issue individual statements over the new information that Goodell has lied and manipulated throughout this process?

    The owners are MUCH more than “generally aware” of this now

    Can the OWNERS who refuse to comply with their own Constitution be forced to sell?

  10. .
    Owners who’ve attested to Wells infallibility in print :

    John Mara
    Jerry Jones
    Bob McNair
    Arthur Blank
    Stephen Ross
    Dan Rooney
    Jim Irsay
    Steve Bisciotti

  11. wryly1 says:
    Aug 11, 2015 8:33 AM

    Wells’ client was the league. Good luck discovering much. Those communications are protected by privilege.

    Wells was advertised as an independent investigator. The NFL cannot have it both ways. If he’s independent, then the NFL is not a client.

  12. seahawkboymike says:
    Aug 11, 2015 10:50 AM

    Can it really be “defamation” if it’s true?

    See Brady, Tom, Cheater…

    Actionable statements include “The NFL has found that 11 of the New England Patriots’ 12 game balls were inflated significantly below the NFL’s requirements” and “Mr. Brady testified that he was unable to recall any specifics of those discussions and he suggested that their principal subject was preparation of game balls for the Super Bowl.”

    We know both of these are lies.

    The question for you is why you would trust a person with such a rich history of lying to the public.

  13. seahawkboymike says: Can it really be “defamation” if it’s true?

    I have great respect for Seattle as a team and fans. The Patriots have lost 2 Super Bowls on quirky bad luck plays too (or else would have 6 Super Bowls by now) – but no excuses… that funny ball can bounce in odd ways

    But have jealous fans REALLY deluded themselves and ignored the HUGE amount of evidence – and PROOF that Goodell and his minions are outright lying and fabricating this?

    Aside from the lies – including “11 of 12” you have the fact that the footballs are ONLY under-inflated if you accept the NFL’s bizarre premise that Walt Anderson’s memory was EXCELLENT when he remembered 24 specific PSI readings he failed to record.

    But on the simple question of which gauge he used – according to Anderson the one that showed no deflation occurred – Goodell wants you to believe that Anderson suddenly developed Alzheimer’s.

    The fact that fans of 31 teams back Goodell on this shows me that they have NO ability to look at this without a HUGE amount of bias

  14. I think that the court will rule that the Paul Weiss firm was working for the NFL and shares the same status as any other attorney, private investigator or expert witness employment. These firms are considered to have an attorney client privileged relationship well rooted in the law. Weiss was representing the NFL in a legal matter revolving around the current bargaining agreement as it pertained to the Incognito vs. Martin discrimination and harassment incident. The Weiss firm is protected as long as it maintained a proper attorney/client privilege relationship. I have never heard of the labor agreement barring or even limiting the NFL’s ability to seek legal representation.

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