2019 AB Watch: Legal & Exemption List Posts Only

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TheoShmeo

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Tuesday is not normally a practice day for a Sunday game. It's typically the day the coaches huddle up to finalize the game plan and put the week's practice drills in place. Players can come in for treatment and work out on their own, and there may be some film review sessions.
Right. That was the basis for my assumption.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Would he have to pay anyone who claims he ows them money, without having a judge or jury decide if he’s liable first? That seems very wrong. But the NFL is already investigating a civil claim and we have no idea if/how they’re going to make conclusions there, so nothing’s too crazy I guess.
The whole "civil claim" thing is a massive red herring. It has been from the start.

Clubs and players have a duty to report to the NFL any allegation of sexual assault wherever it comes from, whether the media, a civil complaint, or anywhere else. The personal conduct policy and the league's investigation provisions are implicated as soon as the allegation is made in any forum -- even if Ms. Taylor had simply picked up the phone or had her lawyer pick up the phone to call Adolpho Birch to report "Antonio Brown raped me." The parallel civil case presents issues for the NFL and for Taylor and Brown but it really is irrelevant to this discussion. Once the allegation has been made, the league looks into, decides whether or not the exempt, and whether or not to conduct a further investigation, and then ultimately decides whether to suspend.

The league investigates all "possible" violations of the personal conduct policy. That investigation can be a phone call or a full blown investigation. The exempt list may, but need not, be used while the league is investigating if there is a criminal charge of a crime of sexual violence or if the league's investigation leads the commissioner to believe a violation "may have occurred" pending further investigation. The rules suggest that the more severe the alleged conduct, the less evidence will be required before the player is placed on the exempt list pending further investigation if the league decides further investigation is necessary.

Players and clubs have a duty to cooperate, whether or not it might impact their other litigation involving the same event and failure to cooperate can itself be the subject of discipline.

Failure to pay one's debts probably do not rise to the level of investigation under the personal conduct policy, unless they constitute theft or fraud. There is a catchall for conduct that puts the integrity of the league at risk which is probably broad enough to cover certain kinds of conduct in this category.

The policy is very clear. The procedure under it is very clear. It is very similar to workplace leave with pay and investigation regimes. People are getting way too focused on the civil complaint aspect. If a butcher called the NFL and said Brown stole money from me, or told that to Peter King, they are fully authorized to investigate. I think as a matter of discretion the league probably has not been getting too involved in matters that don't involve serious allegations of crime or misconduct, but it certainly could if it wanted to and it probably would if there was enough media pressure to the point where the league thought there was an integrity issue.
 

joe dokes

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The whole "civil claim" thing is a massive red herring. It has been from the start.

Clubs and players have a duty to report to the NFL any allegation of sexual assault wherever it comes from, whether the media, a civil complaint, or anywhere else. The personal conduct policy and the league's investigation provisions are implicated as soon as the allegation is made in any forum -- even if Ms. Taylor had simply picked up the phone or had her lawyer pick up the phone to call Adolpho Birch to report "Antonio Brown raped me." The parallel civil case presents issues for the NFL and for Taylor and Brown but it really is irrelevant to this discussion. Once the allegation has been made, the league looks into, decides whether or not the exempt, and whether or not to conduct a further investigation, and then ultimately decides whether to suspend.

The league investigates all "possible" violations of the personal conduct policy. That investigation can be a phone call or a full blown investigation. The exempt list may, but need not, be used while the league is investigating if there is a criminal charge of a crime of sexual violence or if the league's investigation leads the commissioner to believe a violation "may have occurred" pending further investigation. The rules suggest that the more severe the alleged conduct, the less evidence will be required before the player is placed on the exempt list pending further investigation if the league decides further investigation is necessary.

Players and clubs have a duty to cooperate, whether or not it might impact their other litigation involving the same event and failure to cooperate can itself be the subject of discipline.

Failure to pay one's debts probably do not rise to the level of investigation under the personal conduct policy, unless they constitute theft or fraud. There is a catchall for conduct that puts the integrity of the league at risk which is probably broad enough to cover certain kinds of conduct in this category.

The policy is very clear. The procedure under it is very clear. It is very similar to workplace leave with pay and investigation regimes. People are getting way too focused on the civil complaint aspect. If a butcher called the NFL and said Brown stole money from me, or told that to Peter King, they are fully authorized to investigate. I think as a matter of discretion the league probably has not been getting too involved in matters that don't involve serious allegations of crime or misconduct, but it certainly could if it wanted to and it probably would if there was enough media pressure to the point where the league thought there was an integrity issue.
Owing money to Sam the butcher, probably no investigation.
Owing money to Sam the bookie, probably an investigation.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Incidentally, the league could, if it wanted to, discipline Brown for failing to report the allegation when he became aware of it. Seems harsh given that he was apparently in confidential negotiations. But the policy is very clear on the point. The league even reserves the right to discipline a player who refuses to speak in a context where he has a fifth amendment right not to speak and is facing a criminal charge.
 

uncannymanny

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Seeing a new allegation on the crawl of ESPN. I’m in Shake Shack but it said “artist” accuses him of sexual misconduct.
 

TheoShmeo

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Seeing a new allegation on the crawl of ESPN. I’m in Shake Shack but it said “artist” accuses him of sexual misconduct.
This is not new. It’s from the Sports Illustrated story that came out yesterday.

Denny, I’m not sure the civil suit component is a total red hereinafter. Has the Commissioner ever used the Exempt List when a player was accused in a civil suit? I understand your points but if the answer is no or rarely, I think past practice is relevant to the conversation.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Denny, I’m not sure the civil suit component is a total red hereinafter. Has the Commissioner ever used the Exempt List when a player was accused in a civil suit? I understand your points but if the answer is no or rarely, I think past practice is relevant to the conversation.
Has it ever happened? I'm just not sure. I know there were some NBA examples cited above. But do we have any circumstances where a civil suit alleging the core stuff the personal conduct policy prohibits was filed and the commissioner didn't put the player on the exempt list?

The commissioner put Kareem Hunt on the exempt list based on a media report. There was video. But I really just don't see how it matters much under the policy at least as it's written. It's really written to allow for exempt list and investigation no matter what the source of the allegation. It doesn't have any standard at all -- such as "credible" allegation or "probable." It just says it applies if a violation "may" have occurred. I imagine they require some standard, but usually there's a criminal investigation (in which case the policy is clear) or there's a sensational news report. I'm not really sure we've been down this path.

I would assume there have been several almost civil complaints. I would expect that players have from time to time settled cases before they become public. I think this puts the potential defendant in a rough spot. Do you self report or do you hope the settlement will work out and you'll never have to? Brown would probably be in a much better position right now if he had self reported. And the league would likely be in a worse position.
 

TheoShmeo

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Has it ever happened? I'm just not sure. I know there were some NBA examples cited above. But do we have any circumstances where a civil suit alleging the core stuff the personal conduct policy prohibits was filed and the commissioner didn't put the player on the exempt?
Yes.

Marcell Dareus was sued twice last year for sexual misconduct and was not put on the exempt list.

 

BaseballJones

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Yes.

Marcell Dareus was sued twice last year for sexual misconduct and was not put on the exempt list.

Like I said in the media thread, we really need a "Your Team Cheats" web site for all the players who have been accused of, or charged with, crimes of various sorts. Every team has gotta have some of these guys. So when fans of that team come say, "Your team sucks for signing that guy" you can point out that their team has three of those players too.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Yes.

Marcell Dareus was sued twice last year for sexual misconduct and was not put on the exempt list.

Sorry, slightly different point than I was trying to make. I'm not being very clear.

Did the NFL conduct an investigation in that case? Or decide perhaps it couldn't? I guess I could see the NFL having a policy that when there are civil claims it would not have an investigation.

But we've crossed that bridge here. What I cannot see happening is the league having an investigation -- as is clearly happening here -- and then saying "well, because there's a civil case, we're not going to do anything." Perhaps they would say, "well, the fact of the civil case is hindering our ability to reach a conclusion" or something like that. But again, we're past that here. They are investigating. That puts everything into play. The exempt list. Fast track suspension. All of it.

I find it very unlikely that the league will finish up this investigation and say "we won't do anything because there's a civil suit." Once it starts to investigate, it needs to resolve its investigation. Once they start investigating, their options become: "Yes, we find it more probable than not he violate PC policy." "No, we find it more probable than not that he didn't violate the PC policy." Or "we cannot make a determination at this time but will follow when more information is available." Again, I think the existence of the civil suit is irrelevant to the NFL's role here unless it affects the cooperation they receive.
 

Reverend

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Sorry, slightly different point than I was trying to make. I'm not being very clear.

Did the NFL conduct an investigation in that case? Or decide perhaps it couldn't? I guess I could see the NFL having a policy that when there are civil claims it would not have an investigation.

But we've crossed that bridge here. What I cannot see happening is the league having an investigation -- as is clearly happening here -- and then saying "well, because there's a civil case, we're not going to do anything." Perhaps they would say, "well, the fact of the civil case is hindering our ability to reach a conclusion" or something like that. But again, we're past that here. They are investigating. That puts everything into play. The exempt list. Fast track suspension. All of it.

I find it very unlikely that the league will finish up this investigation and say "we won't do anything because there's a civil suit." Once it starts to investigate, it needs to resolve its investigation. Once they start investigating, their options become: "Yes, we find it more probable than not he violate PC policy." "No, we find it more probable than not that he didn't violate the PC policy." Or "we cannot make a determination at this time but will follow when more information is available." Again, I think the existence of the civil suit is irrelevant to the NFL's role here unless it affects the cooperation they receive.
That’s a good point that we’re beyond the point of relevance for many of the policy considerations.

What’s striking to me in your explanation is that, now that they’re involved, they have to take a position. As in, not taking a position is off the table, and there are PR ramifications (assuming that’s all the league cares about) for each position they might take.

Question: Do you think the NFL feels any pressure from the possibility that the civil case might resolve differently from what they decide?

Edit: A big part of me is morbidly curious to see if the league doesn’t yet find some new innovative way to fuck up that we haven’t even thought of yet.
 

joe dokes

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I think we are well beyond Patriots hit pieces when it comes to AB.
Don't think any of this has much to do with the Patriots at all, or should, beyond whatever the potential on-field impacts for them turn out to be.
To some, everything is a hit piece.

The 10-hour interview is a sign that the NFL personnel weren't just playing stenographer. That's about all anyone can rationally say related to the time spent.
 

Red Right Ankle

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that's... not passive voice. Subject of the sentence is clearly the actor and not obfuscated. Source confirms. NFL spent.

Not "Britney taylor was interviewed by NFL", or "Taylor is being interviewed", nor even "time was spent interviewing".
You're right. It's awkward as fuck though.

edit: ok I gave in a bit easy on this as I was referring to "accuser of." Passive or not, it's fucking awkward.
 
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TheoShmeo

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Sorry, slightly different point than I was trying to make. I'm not being very clear.

Did the NFL conduct an investigation in that case? Or decide perhaps it couldn't? I guess I could see the NFL having a policy that when there are civil claims it would not have an investigation.

But we've crossed that bridge here. What I cannot see happening is the league having an investigation -- as is clearly happening here -- and then saying "well, because there's a civil case, we're not going to do anything." Perhaps they would say, "well, the fact of the civil case is hindering our ability to reach a conclusion" or something like that. But again, we're past that here. They are investigating. That puts everything into play. The exempt list. Fast track suspension. All of it.

I find it very unlikely that the league will finish up this investigation and say "we won't do anything because there's a civil suit." Once it starts to investigate, it needs to resolve its investigation. Once they start investigating, their options become: "Yes, we find it more probable than not he violate PC policy." "No, we find it more probable than not that he didn't violate the PC policy." Or "we cannot make a determination at this time but will follow when more information is available." Again, I think the existence of the civil suit is irrelevant to the NFL's role here unless it affects the cooperation they receive.
I hear your points.

I don’t think the NFL investigated Dareus. I see no references to that anywhere, at the least.

Between Antonio being a loud, in the news, player and the team being the Pats, I am not surprised that there’s a difference here. Dareus was relatively under the radar and nothing about AB is ever that.

But I take your point that now that they are investigating, the fact that the underlying behavior was brought to their attention in a civil versus criminal lawsuit shouldn’t matter.

As I said above, though, if I was an NFL lawyer, I think I would be worried to some extent (or better, i might consider) that Brown might later claim that the jury was tainted by the NFL’s conclusions and the NFL should bear some responsibility for that. Perhaps the CBA is a complete shield for that kind of exposure. And perhaps not.

But yeah, the NFL seemingly has not used the exempt list absent a criminal complaint or a video of wrongdoing...which begs the question — which I offered one answer for — of why they are treating this differently. At the same time, you’re right that there’s no principled reason beyond adhering to precedent that they should feel constricted to use the exempt list now.
 

BaseballJones

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that's... not passive voice. Subject of the sentence is clearly the actor and not obfuscated. Source confirms. NFL spent.

Not "Britney taylor was interviewed by NFL", or "Taylor is being interviewed", nor even "time was spent interviewing".
I think he's referring to "the accuser of Antonio Brown" as opposed to "Antonio Brown's accuser". But I could be wrong.
 

Reverend

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I think we are well beyond Patriots hit pieces when it comes to AB.

Don't think any of this has much to do with the Patriots at all, or should, beyond whatever the potential on-field impacts for them turn out to be.
I’ll bet a shiny nickel that if AB gets put on the commissioner’s exemption list, we’ll see pieces discussing the arrogance of Bill Belichick costing him all that salary and cap space.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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That’s a good point that we’re beyond the point of relevance for many of the policy considerations.

What’s striking to me in your explanation is that, now that they’re involved, they have to take a position. As in, not taking a position is off the table, and there are PR ramifications (assuming that’s all the league cares about) for each position they might take.

Question: Do you think the NFL feels any pressure from the possibility that the civil case might resolve differently from what they decide?

Edit: A big part of me is morbidly curious to see if the league doesn’t yet find some new innovative way to fuck up that we haven’t even thought of yet.
I don't think they give a crap. First, they know it's 95 percent likely to settle. Second, if it results in an actual jury verdict, it will be 4 years. They can navigate around it. Third, they are gonna do what they are gonna do. I think in Elliott they ultimately disagreed with their own lead investigator. (Or something like that -- I'm not too familiar.)

I expect that what the league is currently worried about is not necessarily what will happen in the civil case but that it could be embarrassed if something comes out quickly that supports an extortion theory. If they suspend Brown and then video emerges, they want to know that now. So, I'm sure they will really try to pin down everything that is coming from Brown's team -- both in the case and in public -- before they decide. (I doubt they care if anything like this happens while he's on the exempt list.)

This may be more for the legal thread, but my guess is that they are a little concerned about precedent with the exempt list and civil cases in general and so if they can get away with a two-week investigation and wrap the whole thing up without having to use the exempt list, that may be palatable. I guess it depends on what she told them. If she identified seven potentially corroborating witnesses and they need to find and interview them, maybe they do indeed go with the exempt list if they find her credible or at least plausible.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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I think we are well beyond Patriots hit pieces when it comes to AB.

Don't think any of this has much to do with the Patriots at all, or should, beyond whatever the potential on-field impacts for them turn out to be.
I agree, which is why I left it labeled as a generic hit piece and not Patriot-specific. But I think it would focus more on AB the individual and not on the related hypocrisy/buffoonery of the NFL... gotta protect the sponsors and what-not.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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But yeah, the NFL seemingly has not used the exempt list absent a criminal complaint or a video of wrongdoing...which begs the question — which I offered one answer for — of why they are treating this differently. At the same time, you’re right that there’s no principled reason beyond adhering to precedent that they should feel constricted to use the exempt list now.
You kind of get the sense they just play the ball and move on and don't really give a shit, don't you? I mean, the cynical view is that they love people talking about all this crap. Whether it's bounty-gate, or Brady, or Elliott or whatever they know they have one fan base that will support them and one that won't and that either way everyone is talking about them.

I thought concussions and CTE were an existential threat to the NFL but they seem like they aren't. I think pretty much all of this stuff just rises the tide and no matter how much we all say we're going to stop watching or caring, we still watch and care. I really think the only genuinely existential threat that could impact the league at this point in time is a major scandal involving game fixing or manipulation of gambling stuff.
 

joe dokes

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I’ll bet a shiny nickel that if AB gets put on the commissioner’s exemption list, we’ll see pieces discussing the arrogance of Bill Belichick costing him all that salary and cap space.
There will be one or two uses of "arrogant." But even in the best light, ending up on The List could make it a "bet that he lost" or somesuch, that will, in fact, cost the Patriots in some way. There really is no way around that.
 

normstalls

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All the allegation stuff came out AFTER the Patriots signed him. I don't see how the two are related. BB believing his team and it's culture could absorb and control Brown was a fair gamble for sure. The allegations were no part of that equation and should not be lumped into that. If he lands on the Exemption List it will be 100% because of new information post the Patriots signing him.
 

lexrageorge

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All the allegation stuff came out AFTER the Patriots signed him. I don't see how the two are related. BB believing his team and it's culture could absorb and control Brown was a fair gamble for sure. The allegations were no part of that equation and should not be lumped into that. If he lands on the Exemption List it will be 100% because of new information post the Patriots signing him.
That is indeed correct. It is also a fact that will be conveniently overlooked by the local mediots when they scream "hubris and arrogance".
 

TheoShmeo

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You kind of get the sense they just play the ball and move on and don't really give a shit, don't you? I mean, the cynical view is that they love people talking about all this crap. Whether it's bounty-gate, or Brady, or Elliott or whatever they know they have one fan base that will support them and one that won't and that either way everyone is talking about them.

I thought concussions and CTE were an existential threat to the NFL but they seem like they aren't. I think pretty much all of this stuff just rises the tide and no matter how much we all say we're going to stop watching or caring, we still watch and care. I really think the only genuinely existential threat that could impact the league at this point in time is a major scandal involving game fixing or manipulation of gambling stuff.
I think the put their finger in the air and are hyper sensitive to PR.

Why else would they treat Dareus and Brown differently?

It could also be that they know that investigating and possibly exempting AB will keep the NFL front and center, but I tend to think that it’s more that they are totally reactionary and are run by a man with no sense of backbone, integrity or intellectual honesty. I also agree that the only thing that would truly interest the league would be actual cheating or point shaving, not made up nonsense like ball pressure or real but off the field misconduct...except to the extent that same results in bad PR.
 

lexrageorge

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Let's face it: Dareus was over 3 years removed from his last Pro-Bowl when the civil lawsuits came to light, and most casual football fans outside of Jax or Buffalo probably don't spend much time thinking about Marcell Dareus.

It's also possible that the league reviewed the actual complaint and decided there was no real cause for them to move further. Or possibly decided that based on the allegations it was best to let the civil process play out first. They don't have to put a player on the exempt list to take either of those steps.

Antonio Brown is not a random interior lineman for a small market team. Brown's accuser also made a public point of wanting to cooperate directly with the NFL. So, yes, maybe PR drove the league to do this investigation, but it's not unreasonable to ask what alternative the league had? Ignore the accuser?
 

joe dokes

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That is indeed correct. It is also a fact that will be conveniently overlooked by the local mediots when they scream "hubris and arrogance".
I suppose it bears some resemblance to Aaron Hernandez. "We knew that he was a colossal shithead, but this......?"
 

lambeau

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I seem to recall Tagliabue ruling on appeal in Bountygate that Roger was bound by precedent.
I wasn't familiar with the Marcel Dareus details, but Jesus Christ, he was accused of two remarkably similar rapes, both complaining of being drugged, with STD transmission--arguably uglier details than AB.
So how can AB be treated more harshly? I don't know if exempt list can be appealed.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I seem to recall Tagliabue ruling on appeal in Bountygate that Roger was bound by precedent.
I wasn't familiar with the Marcel Dareus details, but Jesus Christ, he was accused of two remarkably similar rapes, both complaining of being drugged, with STD transmission--arguably uglier details than AB.
So how can AB be treated more harshly? I don't know if exempt list can be appealed.
Exempt list placement can be appealed under the same provision that suspensions and stuff can be appealed under, but of course it's much harder because the discretion is much broader. So long as the league believes a violation of PCP "may" have occurred and the exempt list is used only while an investigation is ongoing, the Comissioner's discretion is virtually
 
Jan 30, 2017
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Interesting choice of words here. This leads me to believe that they don't feel strongly enough to EL AB and would prefer to let the civil suit run it's course. I'll leave to those of you that are more knowledgable about these things to provide more thoughtful posts.

My guess is no action is taken and then NFL is happy to avoid setting a precedent of placing a player on the exempt list due to a civil case.
 

joe dokes

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Interesting choice of words here. This leads me to believe that they don't feel strongly enough to EL AB and would prefer to let the civil suit run it's course. I'll leave to those of you that are more knowledgable about these things to provide more thoughtful posts.

My guess is no action is taken and then NFL is happy to avoid setting a precedent of placing a player on the exempt list due to a civil case.
I think its exactly the opposite. The NFL doesn't want to -- and should avoid -- any sort of "no league action if its 'only a civil case'" approach.

For the nth time, it has nothing to do with it being a "civil case." The only thing that matters is that the league now knows that AB has been accused of rape, and the league can't really *not* look into it. If the accuser brought with her videotape of AB injecting her with a sedative and then raping her, I think the NFL would probably take action even though "only a civil case" is pending.

They might also want to: (shocking, I know) talk to AB, or look at other relevant evidence before making a decision or -- as suggested above -- announcing that it doesn't have enough information to reach a reliable conclusion at this time.
 

Van Everyman

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Did I skim the article or was the “second accusation” AB standing too closely behind a woman painting his portrait wearing nothing but a towel?

I don’t want to diminish what a shithead this guy may be—or a monster even—but that doesn’t scream misconduct to me or anything remotely sanctionable. But maybe I missed some crucial details here.
 

mauf

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So, if you're the NFL's lawyers and they ask you how they should structure this investigation what do you advise them?

Any statement that either of them makes is going to be admissible and the person conducting the investigation is going to be a potential witness. So, first thing, I don't want Roger within a mile of the room. I try to keep the circle that actually meets with either of them as narrow as possible. And then with respect to their work product I guess I try to make all of it go through lawyers. That gives me a facial privilege argument but it's going to be tough.

What about written work product? What about notes? Do you let the investigators take them? Do you preserve them? Do you put an NFL lawyer in the room with either Brown or Taylor?

Do you allow outside investigation? Do you take statements from potential peripheral witnesses? Do you use outside private investigators? Do you let anyone have a lawyer in the room?

How do you protect your investigators' mental impressions? They are likely not admissible in the civil suit but they are almost surely discoverable.

Federal court so you can't resist a document or deposition subpoena but do you consider trying to use only people who can't be compelled to attend a trial if it gets to it? You're the NFL are you going to play that game? Or are you going to assume that you're likely going to have someone who may have to testify at trial?

Most scary is that you cannot control relevance. Relevance will be determined by what Brown and Taylor choose to argue. So, while you can work your ass off to protect Roger, once you let him participate you are potentially putting him in the witness chair depending on what the litigants choose to say or not say. You really don't want him being asked, "and why didn't you do X" or anything like that.

When the NFL acts as investigator in player situations, it's relatively comfortable about how the process will play out. In the criminal context they can kind of navigate that ok too and when the complaianant hasn't filed suit, like in Elliott, they can be relatively confident that the only place they are really going to have to have production obligations is the litigation over the discipline under the CBA. To make themselves witnesses in a civil dispute that involves a civilian is a bit of a scary proposition for the lawyers.

Employers face these issues all the time -- they conduct investigations where their employees are involved and they know that litigation may occur. But the NFL is not an employer. They are a league. They have no contract with Brown other than the CBA and that only governs their rights and obligation viz. him as a player. Taylor is not their employee.

I fear they may be hot to trot for Brown on this. Injecting yourself into someone else's civil dispute is not something you do casually and it's not something that the lawyers are too keen about.
I dealt with a somewhat analogous situation years ago where there was an ongoing federal criminal investigation. We made an audio recording of the proceedings and agreed to furnish it in response to a subpoena — the feds got what they wanted, and our people didn’t have to testify.

Of course, in our case we didn’t have to worry about TMZ or the National Enquirer paying someone for a copy of the tape. The security issues might be insurmountable in this case.
 
Jan 30, 2017
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I think its exactly the opposite. The NFL doesn't want to -- and should avoid -- any sort of "no league action if its 'only a civil case'" approach.

For the nth time, it has nothing to do with it being a "civil case." The only thing that matters is that the league now knows that AB has been accused of rape, and the league can't really *not* look into it. If the accuser brought with her videotape of AB injecting her with a sedative and then raping her, I think the NFL would probably take action even though "only a civil case" is pending.

They might also want to: (shocking, I know) talk to AB, or look at other relevant evidence before making a decision or -- as suggested above -- announcing that it doesn't have enough information to reach a reliable conclusion at this time.
Poor wording on my part here. It's not that it's "a civil case" but it's a civil case without any criminal investigation, police report, etc. Forgive me if this should be in the legal only thread, I feel like they blend at times but I have no experience in that profession so I keep it here.

All of this is just so weird and no outcome is good, some are just less bad. Looking forward to a thread where we all decide what their best grouping is, with or without AB.
 
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