Uber driver hires lawyer who represented Jameis Winston’s accuser from FSU

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When defending himself against a new set of accusations, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be facing a familiar foe.

Via ESPN.com, attorney John Clune is representing the still-unnamed Uber driver who contends that Winston groped her in March 2016. Clune previously represented Erica Kinsman in her lawsuit against Winston, arising from an alleged rape in December 2012.

Clune already has gone on the offensive, questioning the veracity of a contention from Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby that he was in the vehicle at the time, and that nothing happened.

“We have asked the NFL this morning to investigate Mr. Darby and are demanding that he immediately turn his phone over to the NFL so the GPS history can be forensically examined,” Clune tweeted.

Coincidentally, Darby also was a witness to the December 2012 incident.

“[T]o be clear, no one else was in the car besides Mr. Winston and if anyone is ‘confused’, it isn’t the Uber driver,” Clune added. “Mr. Winston’s friend from his FSU days is just making things worse by inserting himself into this.”

How much worse can it get for Winston? As noted last night, if the Uber driver cooperates with the NFL — and if the NFL believes her (perhaps not even completely, as Ezekiel Elliott learned) — Winston will be looking at a baseline suspension of six games.

That said, the involvement of Clune gives Winston a window for resolving this matter in a way that virtually ensures no NFL punishment. If Winston’s lawyers can broker a civil settlement with Clune that entails a release of claims and an agreement not to cooperate with the NFL, the case necessarily would be closed.

It’s unclear whether she’d even be interested in a settlement. Clune tweeted that the alleged victim’s “sole purpose is to put other women on notice of this unacceptable behavior as so many other women have recently done.”

Of course, no one ever admits that situations like this are about money. Once a lawyer is retained, however, securing a settlement or a judgment often becomes the only way to pay the lawyer’s fee. And if a contingency agreement is in place, the lawyer has a natural incentive to recover as much money as possible.

Given the threat to Winston’s NFL career, a potential lawsuit has much more value than it otherwise would. In other contexts, that could be viewed as extortion. In the legal industry, it’s called the fair negotiation of viable claims.

41 responses to “Uber driver hires lawyer who represented Jameis Winston’s accuser from FSU

  1. Clune put the full court press on to get this gig. I just want to see what the actual truth was. Was there just Winston in the vehicle? Or did this Uber driver actually misremember that Jameis had his fall guys with him.

  2. There is already a voice mail out there from Uber disputing that he was the lone passenger, but I guess that doesn’t matter. Everyone was sure this wasn’t a money grab, until it became a money grab, lol. What a world we live in today.

  3. Sad state that this country is in. Allegations are enough to end someone’s career or at least severely hurt it. I am not sure what went on in that uber ride, but it appears that most have formed an opinion with just the allegations. Due process is dying and each and every one of us is culpable in its demise because we are allowing it to happen.

  4. Arizona, Florida…same lawyer. To me that is almost the same as hiring Gloria Alred who seems to always represent women in these types of cases and many of them were found to be lying. I have no idea whether or not the incident happened the way either side says but the way this suddenly has become an issue for a lawsuit after a year and a half leads me to believe there is likely a bit of BS coming from her side. That may sound harsh but when you consider that she reported it to Uber but failed to inform the police it tells me the “I was traumatized so I didn’t report it back then” rationale falls flat here.

  5. I saw countless people on this website crucify him with no evidence. If this doesn’t appear to be a money grab than I don’t know what does. Obviously, he’s an easy target and the woman knew that. Greed is the root of all evil.

  6. So Winston initially claims someone else used his uber account, and now only belatedly accepts he was in the car but, oh, not alone after all! – as he was with his favorite witness? Smells a bit.

    Winston got treated above the law in college: 2 shooting incidents (1 let off, 1 fined), 2 thefts (1 dropped, 1 community service), a disturbance (dropped), selling autographed gear (dropped), called as witness in a hearing of another’s sexual impropriety but skipped it (ignored), rape claim (dropped, and belatedly revived 9 months later by which time there was a lack of evidence).

  7. Exact wording of the voicemail lays out the possibility of a 2nd passenger but absolutely doesn’t confirm it.

    “Hi Jameis, this is Chris calling from the Uber office,” the caller said on the voice mail message. “I’m following up on a report we had from one of your recent trips where you or someone in the vehicle with you had some inappropriate behavior. I just want to follow up and get some more information on that. Your Uber account is on temporary hold while we investigate the situation. I’ll follow up with e-mail and hopefully we can find a better time to connect.”

    realfootballfan says:
    November 20, 2017 at 10:08 am
    There is already a voice mail out there from Uber disputing that he was the lone passenger, but I guess that doesn’t matter. Everyone was sure this wasn’t a money grab, until it became a money grab, lol. What a world we live in today.

  8. How many times have we told this players to pay for a ride and not drive. Now they have to worry about stuff like this. If Winston didn’t do anything he should just volunteer a polygraph test and put it behind him. If the girl is lying and can be proved I don’t want to hear another accusation again. If they can prove Winston did something then it’s not going to be the last time you hear him being accused. Does Darby hand his phone over? Chances are there won’t ever be any clear answers to the truth though

  9. youngnoizecom says:

    I saw countless people on this website crucify him with no evidence.
    =======================================================

    Because of his history. His school had to pay off the other girl a million dollars. And she reported him for rape before she even knew he was a star football player.

  10. baldbuc says:
    November 20, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Why would the Uber driver hire this guy? He’s already 0-1 vs Winston.
    __________________________________________________

    Uh, he is 1-0, his client got paid and so did he.

  11. It’s almost as if this lawyer, who is the original accusers lawyer/Aunt, has a personal vendetta against Mr. Winston.

    But, that’s none of my business.

  12. Yeah,

    There’s nothing suspicious about hiring a no name lawyer from the state of Florida who just happened to be the lawyer in the original case against Winston when you live in Arizona…

  13. las0023 ,

    yeah, I know when someone accuses me of something , they say you or somebody with you, lol. I mean she did make this complaint immediately. This is what I kept hearing over and over again the other day. So tell me why would Uber say you or somebody with you if there wasn’t somebody else wit you and you made the complaint immediately following the incident? Fuzzy memory now? I don’t expect people like you who are already dug in to admit you were wrong though. There are also some text messages out there of hers between her and a friend saying she didn’t know which one he was. But carry on. Nothing is private now people, on either side of things.

    Also, this didn’t come up because of the NFL. Someone reached out to Buzzfeed conveniently last week. Again, I’ll let you make your own judgements on what that means after Kinsman’s lawyer was immediately retained after that. Some of you are so good at snap ones.

  14. Wow. So some think that past transgressions (or allegations) should directly affect litigation on a seperate incident? Due process doesn’t see it that way. Damn shame that many people or trolls see it that way.

  15. Oh wow. At this rate Jameis will spend most of earnings fighting legal battles. Time to grow up Jameis.

  16. 6 game suspension is the precedent set by Goodell when he went into a federal court on US soil and appealed that Article 46 allows him to frame people who may be innocent.

    6 games.

    Article 46.

    Where is it, Roger?

  17. baldbuc says:
    November 20, 2017 at 10:20 am
    Why would the Uber driver hire this guy? He’s already 0-1 vs Winston.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    I think they settled out of court. So that would make him 1-0 vs winston just because they didn’t go to court doesn’t mean he lost !!!

  18. So he wants the other dude to turn over his phone from March, 2016? I got news for him, that phone was replaced six months or more ago. How many younger people still have the phone they used at least 19 months ago? I would wager that phone was replaced at least at the first of 2017. Average kid replaces their phone at least once a year; with the shiny new model.

  19. baldbuc says:
    November 20, 2017 at 10:20 am
    Why would the Uber driver hire this guy? He’s already 0-1 vs Winston.

    I mean, I guess if you consider a $950k settlement with FSU and an undisclosed civil settlement with Jameis to be 0-1, I would love to see what these numbers would look like if he was 1-0!

  20. If they can prove Darby was NOT in that car,… Jameis is going down.
    Regardless of any legal situations he might be subject to, the NFL has a different code of ethics. He will be suspended just for lying to investigators and so would Ron Darby.

  21. “It’s unclear whether she’d even be interested in a settlement.” – Did you actually type that with a straight face? C’MON Brah…

  22. baldbuc says:
    November 20, 2017 at 10:20 am
    Why would the Uber driver hire this guy? He’s already 0-1 vs Winston.
    ————————————————
    Well, depends on how you want to count. He got his former client 950k from the school and an undisclosed amount from Winston.

  23. If you are innocent, you don’t pay to make the incident/accuser go away, like Florida State did. You fight to clear your name. Winston has been involved in too many gross sexual incidents to make me lean toward him being innocent.

  24. I heard the FSU girls story in documentary The Hunting Game. I believe her 100%. If I was on a jury and heard her testimony theres no doubt I would have convicted Winston. In her story she said 1 of they guys in the apartment can in the room after hearing her repeatedly say no and begging him yo stop. The guy told Winston what he was doing was wrong but walked away and left him to continue. Even if that guy wasnt Darby the fact that it could be heard in the other rooms leaves me to believe that either Darby heard n went in the room or worse heard it and did nothing. Now Darby once again is involved with with a sexual assault claim and is defending Winston.

    I believe this man has no morals. He is not worthy of being a Eagle. I dont care how good he played this week. The Eagles were great b4 him and will be without him. The Eagles should cut this man. Maybe he was available for so little for a reason.

    I dont want him on my team.

  25. realfootballfan says:
    November 20, 2017 at 11:05 am
    las0023 ,

    yeah, I know when someone accuses me of something , they say you or somebody with you, lol. I mean she did make this complaint immediately. This is what I kept hearing over and over again the other day. So tell me why would Uber say you or somebody with you if there wasn’t somebody else wit you and you made the complaint immediately following the incident? Fuzzy memory now? I don’t expect people like you who are already dug in to admit you were wrong though. There are also some text messages out there of hers between her and a friend saying she didn’t know which one he was. But carry on. Nothing is private now people, on either side of things

    Because Uber has lawyers and lawyers tell u never to make statements as a certainty. She wasnt on the voicemail it was some uber worker. Who all he knew for certain was there was an accusation of an assault made against someone who got a ride using Winstons account. All he had was the girls word so all he could accurately say is what he said. Doesnt prove or even infer the girl claimed that it wasnt Winston or there was a possibility there were more then 1 guy in the car. Its just lawyer speak. Think.

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