Attorney Lisa Banks continues assault on NFL’s decision in WFT case

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The attorneys representing a large number of former employees of the Washington Football Team continue to assail the punishment dispensed by the league to the team and the “voluntary” suspension to be served by owner Daniel Snyder.

I think it’s outrageous,” attorney Lisa Banks told Scott Abraham of WJLA-TV. “I think we have seen that there’s been no transparency and no accountability here, and I have over 40 clients who are truly devastated.”

She’s right. The stunning and irregular decision to not commission investigator Beth Wilkinson to generate a written report cuts off any and all potential pressure on the league to release the written report.

“We asked the NFL to release this on multiple occasions, ” Banks said regarding the report that never was written. “The league seems to be in the business of protecting the owners and that’s certainly what they did here. If [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell doesn’t have a written report in his hands, he doesn’t have the tough decision about whether to make it public or not.”

That said, it’s possible (but unlikely) that there is a written report, and that the official position is that there isn’t one. It’s also still possible that a written report could be generated after the fact, if the league is willing to hear and heed the legitimate criticism of the effort to conceal specific facts discovered during the investigation, hiding behind the overly broad and excessively vague notion that the information must be protected in deference to those who came forward to make complaints about the treatment they endured.

The former employees represented by Banks and Debra Katz obviously aren’t interested in keeping things confidential.

“They’re devastated, they are absolutely devastated,” Banks said regarding their clients. “I’m getting call after call, text after text, telling me that they’re physically ill hearing this news, and they are just feeling so disappointed and dispirited.”

While we agree wholeheartedly with the disappointment arising from the lack of any transparency and thus the absence of full accountability, there’s another reason for Banks, Katz, and their clients to be upset. The existence of a written report would have greatly simplified any litigation that still could be in the offing regarding the misconduct that occurred.

That said, the information contained in Wilkinson’s files likely would be discoverable and ultimately admissible in such lawsuits; there’s likely no attorney-client privilege that attaches to the fact-finding in which Wilkinson engaged. Likewise, the substance of her communications with the league regarding the investigation likely can be explored, through questioning under oath.

The process necessarily becomes a little more convoluted and imperfect, however, without the availability of written materials created contemporaneously with such communications — and especially without a full and complete narrative from the firm that conducted an investigation that entailed more than 150 interviews.

And let’s not lose sight of the broader reality. The fact that Goodell reached such damning conclusions without the benefit of a written report proves just how bad the contents of the report would have been, and still could be, for Snyder. Specific details about things said and done to current and former employees under the culture created by Snyder could be more than enough to create the kind of groundswell that would force Snyder to sell the team — voluntarily, of course.

18 responses to “Attorney Lisa Banks continues assault on NFL’s decision in WFT case

  1. This is how the NFL conducts business. No one should be surprised. Not saying it’s right, it’s totally wrong, but the NFL is in the business of protecting owners and their image. See the made up Deflategate sham investigation, see them hiding CTE for years. They will do nothing that makes the NFL look bad. It is all about positive PR for the NFL. And even if you do get to Court, Goodell will answer nothing, and make the other lawyer chase their tails going in circles by giving vague answers, and claim not to understand the question

  2. Amazing how many times we see this , trying to coverup can become more detrimental then the original transgression . Would love to see King Goodell and his royal subjects aka the owners brought to their knees in a court of law .

  3. The NFL is a private business, or at least it is a group of private businesses. They’re doing business in America, so they have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. I don’t see anyone getting prosecuted for illegal activities. The NFL also has to make decisions for PR purposes. If they do things that are a turn off to their paying customers, their customers will stop paying for their products. We’re (you and me and everyone else out here) are those paying customers, so in reality, it’s we who hold a lot of power. A lot of people don’t like us (you and me) because we seem to condone this type of activity, and we continue to give our money to the NFL. Roger Goodell’s job is to keep us happy, and to collect our money. He’s doing his job extremely well. This isn’t a Roger Goodell problem. This is 2021 America. That’s where we are. It would be easy to replace one man and solve all the problems, but there are millions of us out here, and we hold all the power. So if your leg is broken and you’re trying to get your arm fixed, you’re still going to have a broken leg. So pressuring Goodell is like focusing on the broken arm. We’re the broken leg. But we don’t seem to be complaining about any pain. Wow. Now that could be a bigger problem than the WFT.

  4. charliecharger says:
    July 3, 2021 at 8:09 am
    The NFL is a private business, or at least it is a group of private businesses. They’re doing business in America, so they have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. I don’t see anyone getting prosecuted for illegal activities. The NFL also has to make decisions for PR purposes. If they do things that are a turn off to their paying customers, their customers will stop paying for their products. We’re (you and me and everyone else out here) are those paying customers, so in reality, it’s we who hold a lot of power. A lot of people don’t like us (you and me) because we seem to condone this type of activity, and we continue to give our money to the NFL. Roger Goodell’s job is to keep us happy, and to collect our money. He’s doing his job extremely well. This isn’t a Roger Goodell problem. This is 2021 America. That’s where we are. It would be easy to replace one man and solve all the problems, but there are millions of us out here, and we hold all the power. So if your leg is broken and you’re trying to get your arm fixed, you’re still going to have a broken leg. So pressuring Goodell is like focusing on the broken arm. We’re the broken leg. But we don’t seem to be complaining about any pain. Wow. Now that could be a bigger problem than the WFT.

    8 3 Rate This
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    As usual, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

    Goodell testified in a court that Article 46 gives him the right to cheat and steal if need be. Truth.

    He was so desperate to cover for framing NE again when called into federal court to be exposed as a liar, he actually thinks he is above US law.

  5. Ridiculous that an investigation of this scope would not be documented in a written report. The only reason I can think of would be to allow the people who were interviewed anonymity to make them more comfortable in speaking out. Whistleblower and anti-retaliation statutes sound good, but the truth is, it is very easy to get fired, and very hard to win a retaliation suit.

  6. The NFL is a business, WTF is a business. Why would they reveal exculpatory evidence to the public if a deal has been cut? Payments will be going out and the owner of WTF has been relived of his duties. But its never enough for our WOKE society

  7. What, Wilkinson didn’t take notes? She didn’t collect her thoughts – electronically or otherwise – into some sort of narrative for disclosure to the league? I don’t buy it. For an investigation this long, this complex, there had to be some collection & organization of the data collected. The truth needs to be set free & fully disclosed.

  8. I think she’s complaining that the NFL is not doing her work for her. Oh yeah, she’s also complaining because they’re not being the plaintiffs’ allies she was hoping for and counting on.

  9. If a written report surfaces after the NFL said there is no written report, some people at the very top of NFL leadership have to resign.

  10. “The league seems to be in the business of protecting the owners”

    I mean, Goodell is hired by the owners, how can this Possibly be surprising? He’s not some independent NFL overseer

  11. Histrionics by lawyers seeking money for their clients is standard fare. People somehow believe that Goodell is some sort of government official beholden to public whim. He is an employee of a consortium who is paid handsomely to take the p.r. hits and do the bidding of the owners. Regardless of right and wrong– pushing victims (of widely varying degrees of harm) is nothing compared to trying to push a fellow owner around. They push too hard with Snyder and they will likely find themselves in much bigger trouble than they bargained for.

  12. Why aren’t there criminal charges or a lawsuit against the organization and the employees?

  13. Not sure why all the complaining. The league protected itself. You can’t demand or suspeona a report that doesn’t exists. I would not be surprised if the notes have been destroyed as well. The fans will continue to support teams because the fans care more about the game than the few employees discriminated against. Most people worry about an injustice, disease, or whatever when affects them.

  14. I’ll ask a question. If you ran a company that had to hire an attorney for a large internal matter. The bill for which, will be north of a few million. And, you ask for No work product, no physical report, nothing that can be dispensed to others in the group to JUSTIFY the whole process and expense. I’ve come up with only one answer and that is because in this day and age you know that will be applicable evidence in proceedings down the road that you DO NOT want to occur. Wouldn’t you want it as justification of his previous misconduct if you had to boot him out of the club for cause?? Any person whose been an employee who messed up knows a letter can go in your file and the next mistake that is referenced to as justification of action/punishment. This is so shady IMO

  15. Well of course the league is going to protect the owners. The Commissioner serves at the pleasure of the owners – and they like the job he’s doing – which is precisely why they keep him and have made him a very wealthy man.

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