Report: Evidence shows Tony Buzbee’s team initiating Deshaun Watson settlement talks

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The sudden and unexpected mystery of who made the first move to kick start settlement talks in the Deshaun Watson cases has been solved.

Via Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com, text messages and a recording reveal that a member of attorney Tony Buzbee’s legal team approached Watson’s legal team to discuss “working things out” in connection with the 22 lawsuits pending against Watson.

Buzbee has denied approaching Watson’s legal team, led by attorney Rusty Hardin, to discuss settlement. Buzbee did not respond to emails from ESPN.com requesting comment on the existence of objective evidence contradicting his claim.

Irrelevant to the merits, the question is extremely relevant to perceptions. It’s typically believed in matters of this nature that whoever makes the first move is more motivated to settle. That can be interpreted as an indication that the lawyer has concerns about the case, especially when the request is made so early in the litigation.

That said, there was good reason to initiate settlement talks early in Watson’s case. Buzbee and his clients have more leverage  if the cases are settled under circumstances that allow Watson to be traded before the start of training camp. If the cases are resolved by then, there’s a very good chance that would happen.

As PFT reported on Friday, the Texans have had no involvement in attempting to broker settlement talks, despite Buzbee’s claim to the contrary. A lawyer who has worked for Texans owner Cal McNair at one point served as a liaison in efforts to resolve the cases.

Barshop’s report also points out that Watson has not yet been interviewed by the NFL in conjunction with its investigation under the Personal Conduct Policy. That’s normal in situations like this; the accused will be questioned after all relevant information has been obtained from the accusers.

So far, the NFL has interviewed four of the 22 women, according to Buzbee. Buzbee also has said that “probably four more” want to speak to the league. The NFL, in responding to Buzbee’s concerns regarding the manner in which the initial interviews were handled, did not dispute his claim that four of the plaintiffs have been interviewed.

25 responses to “Report: Evidence shows Tony Buzbee’s team initiating Deshaun Watson settlement talks

  1. Well of course the plaintiffs started things off. Buzbee wants his money. Bills gotta be paid!!

  2. I feel for the girls. If everything is true, they still look bad purely by how shonky Buzbee comes across.

    He’s fast pointing the needle in Watsons direction

  3. Buzbee caught in yet another lie? Wow how shocking, I would have never seen that coming.

  4. Buzbee has made a series of significant lies during this process. If I was one of the plaintiffs, I’d find new representation as quickly as is possible. Buzbee has zero credibility.

  5. At this point if your Watson if you want to save your career the only option is to stick to your guns and see this through to the end. Make Buzbee and his team follow through on their threats to go to court, make them present whatever evidence they have and convince a jury. Of course Watson’s legal teams job is to destroy any credibility the alleged victims have, but if they can get just one plaintiff to rescind her allegations then the rest will start falling like dominoes.

  6. No other attorney would touch these cases with a 10 foot pole. Career suicide!

  7. As an attorney handling complex litigation for over 25 year, the party making the first move is not necessarily weak.

    At times, the parties can see from the beginning how things are going to play out and the expected result. In those cases, you make the move to get there quicker.

    Serious personal injury cases are a classic example. Plaintiff has a badly broken leg needing multiple surgeries and a year off work as an ironworker (a job you can’t do with a broken or healing leg). Defendant has a $500,000 insurance policies. With multiple surgeries and that time off, the verdict is likely to be $500,000 or more.

    So plaintiff’s counsel calls and demands the policy.

    At other times, you have people suing each other over joint ownership of multiple businesses. You make the call because you know litigation will be a mess and the best way is to get a framework splitting the businesses between the parties.

    In this case. you have 22 plaintiffs and dealing with all 22 will be complicated. If the injury is similar, you approach and do one universal settlement.

    So, who approached who really isn’t significant.

  8. If Watson knows he isn’t guilty of any criminal activity, however bad it will out from the PR perspective, he should make this go to court. At the minimum, take depositions in preparation. Don’t settle, unless terms are transparent. Your career can last another 10-15 years, so losing this year won’t hurt you.

    If you know you’re criminally guilty, settle. Keep terms sealed. Again, you’re losing a year, but you will be reinstated after suspension served.

  9. Eagles and broncos are about to go into a bidding war. Eagles have more draft capital so they are more likely.

  10. I just hope the Eagles don’t trade for Watson . They don’t need him because they have a future allstar quarterback in Jalen Hurts.

  11. If we go back to the beginning of all this, I wonder did 22 women come forward or were they recruited from a list? If Buzbee recruited from a list, who in the Texans org provided the list?

  12. Watson knew from the beginning he didn’t have anything to worry about. The other side has been caught in numerous lies, and they are afraid of any kind of settlement that is out in the open. They want everything to remain a secret. They just want to extort money, and I’ll bet those 22 women are going to start distancing themselves from Buzbee. The most glaring things are that none of the 22 women called the police, and Buzbee is a neighbor of Texans owner Cal McNair. The biggest question I have is how much money would the Texans save if they could somehow come up with a scheme that would void all the guaranteed money they owe Watson. Lets answer that question, and then work from there. Then this whole thing might make a lot more sense.

  13. Shocking. Buzbee got caught in another lie. How many is that now? Hire a clown, get a circus.

  14. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knew he initiated settlement talks even though he denied it. This guy is a real piece of work. What a clownshow. Watson and Hardin said, you will get nothing and like it

  15. I said from the beginning he reminded me of used car salesman, or you know maybe sells trailer houses

  16. Take off the woke colored glasses and you will see this for the money grab that it is.

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