Tony Buzbee: NFL’s decision on Deshaun Watson, whatever it will be, has no bearing on civil cases

Deshaun Watson Press Conference
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The Deshaun Watson situation involves three different aspects of the law. First, the criminal process. Second, the civil justice system. Third, the NFL’s in-house disciplinary process.

With the criminal portion of the case over (unless new criminal complaints are filed against Watson), two pieces remain. And they are inherently distinct, as explained in a statement attorney Tony Buzbee provided early Friday to PFT.

“It was recently reported that none of the five cases presented by the NFL involved violence, coercion or force,” Buzbee said. “I’m not sure how that’s a surprise. Only two of the civil cases we filed alleged that type of conduct. The women who made those allegations have settled with Watson; neither spoke to the NFL. The majority of the civil cases we filed instead alleged indecent exposure and assault; that is, touching without consent. We aren’t at this time privy to what was presented by the NFL but we expect we will know soon enough. In any event, as I’ve said several times, what the NFL does or fails to do has no bearing on those civil cases that remain against Watson, or the additional cases we are preparing to file against the Texans.”

It’s an important distinction. Whether the rights of the remaining plaintiffs were violated under the various civil laws becomes a different question from whether Watson ran afoul of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Buzbee’s comments also reveal that perhaps two of the potentially stronger claims against Watson — those involving allegations of violence, coercion, or force — didn’t land on the NFL’s radar screen for its effort against Watson, presumably because the women declined to cooperate. With their cases settled, and with the settlements surely including confidentiality language that would compel compliance only with a formal subpoena, that information won’t become part of the NFL’s case.

That’s why it’s critical to understand, and for Judge Sue L. Robinson to explain, the specific facts as presented to her and as determined to be established by her in the written ruling that she eventually generates. What does she believe happened? Which witnesses does she believe? Do any of them have credibility issues, either in the substance of their remarks (for example, clear inconsistencies in their stories) or in their demeanor while testifying?

There’s also a narrow path to punishment based on Buzbee’s allegation of “indecent exposure and assault.” Will Judge Robinson deem Watson’s alleged misbehavior during massage sessions a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy, especially if he sticks with his blanket, buzzword denial of never harassing, disrespecting, or assaulting any woman?

Regardless, what happens in criminal court (to date, no charges), civil court (20 cases settles and four pending), and NFL court (for lack of a better term) can be three very different things. The civil cases, barring a settlement, will linger. The NFL’s case will be over, sooner than later.

14 responses to “Tony Buzbee: NFL’s decision on Deshaun Watson, whatever it will be, has no bearing on civil cases

  1. He could care less if Watson plays. Tony got his money, that’s all he cares about. Never cared about anything else

  2. Like I said in a previous post I’m just happy this offender isn’t my teams quarterback.

  3. nosurrender says:
    July 8, 2022 at 6:21 pm
    Like I said in a previous post I’m just happy this offender isn’t my teams quarterback.

    ————

    That’s what everyone said about Ben

  4. nhpats2011 says:
    July 8, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    That’s what everyone said about Ben
    —————————————————————

    Yup and I’m proud to say I was one those people who said it then, and I still haven’t changed my position on him either. I have ZERO RESPECT for those types of people, and if the Browns and their fans are happy to have him represent them and their team have at it

  5. “Presumably because they wouldn’t cooperate”?
    Lol
    Or because their cases are trash and it didn’t happen

  6. Wondering if the NFL will settle this in 2022. Maybe they’ll drag it out another 2-3 years and in the meantime Watson gets to play. What year did the alleged incidents occur – 2019? Justice delayed……………

  7. ghjjf says:
    July 8, 2022 at 7:14 pm
    A lot of talk about a 4-12 QB from two years ago!
    —————————————————————
    That 4-12 QB also was selected to the Pro Bowl that season. I wonder why? I’m sure you said it was a lot of talk when the Rams traded for 3-13-1, Matt Stafford.

  8. If being a creep is punishable by the CBA’s personal conduct policy, and “ownership and management are held to a higher standard” (per the CBA), and there has been little to no censure of ownership for recent creepy behavior, how can Watson be suspended?
    The legal system could not find enough evidence to even indict Watson. Depositions have determined that Watson never used physical force or the threat thereof, to “persuade” any complainants.
    Owners and management have certainly been exposed as having been absolute creeps, if not criminals.
    If Judge Robinson literally interprets the CBA, and she considers precedence (even though this is not a court of law, I’ll “assume” she’ll conduct herself as if it was), it is very possible she will impose no suspension. Probably not likely, but possible.
    A finding of no punishment cannot be appealed.

  9. Sounds like the Lawyer Tony Buzzbee knows what’s up and that Watson will face no punishment and is getting the jump on anyone thinking this has any bearing in his Civil Suits would be mistaken . Buzzbee would be correct. Buzzbee also knows that the outcome of the Civil Suits has no bearing on Watsons claim of being innocent of all charges. Unless Watson is convicted in Criminal Court he should be presumed innocent and allowed to play.

  10. NewYorkLion says:
    July 9, 2022 at 4:01 pm
    Sounds like the Lawyer Tony Buzzbee knows what’s up and that Watson will face no punishment and is getting the jump on anyone thinking this has any bearing in his Civil Suits would be mistaken . Buzzbee would be correct. Buzzbee also knows that the outcome of the Civil Suits has no bearing on Watsons claim of being innocent of all charges. Unless Watson is convicted in Criminal Court he should be presumed innocent and allowed to play.

    Spoken like a true misogynist.

  11. Or I’m a person that believes the Law and due process are vital to our existence. God bless the the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments of the Constitution that create the legal basis for “innocent until proven guilty.” instead of a person like yourself that thinks the Court of personal opinion should be the Law.

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