Whose Gag Order Is It, Anyway?

Dec 11, 2012

So it all started last week with a letter we received from Bob Lurtsema that basically outlined his understanding of what had happened in a Settlement Conference on the NFL Films lawsuit that included: Several retired football players (and a few guys who weren’t), a whole lot of lawyers from the NFL and Hausfeld LLP, along with the original Plaintiff Attorneys Bob Stein, Tom Ward and several of the original Plaintiffs who hadn’t even been invited or flown in to the meeting by some of the attorneys. Thanks to the First Amendment that guarantees our right to Freedom of Speech, you can still read that original letter from Bob Lurtsema by clicking HERE.
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We were happy to post Bob’s views online as we have generally done in the past with communications from so many other retired players; especially since it was an update that a lot of our readers have been trying to follow since the NFL Films lawsuit began last year. Well, 24 hours after we posted Bob’s overview, it seems that certain attorneys including the NFL’s lawyers decided they didn’t think the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) applied to our Blog. First, Dave received an e-mail from Hausfeld LLP with a copy of a gag order and a “DRAFT” copy of a letter warning all parties to the suit, signed by Michael Hausfeld and Charles Zimmerman from September. (Has anyone actually received a real copy of this letter or was it simply nothing more than a ‘DRAFT‘ that was circulated to intimidate or stop outsiders from talking about the case? Nothing – NOTHING – in the gag order even infers that the media or blogs are prohibited from gathering information on this case and publishing it.) Would some of you please read the very short gag order and tell us if you see anything specifically banning the media or outside parties from writing about any of this, as Hausfeld’s ‘DRAFT‘ warning seems to infer? PLEASE NOTE: Dave Pear is currently NOT a named Plaintiff in the NFL Films lawsuit and has NOT been invited to attend any of the discussions.
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As a final note, it’s also interesting that throughout the past months since the gag order was put in place, it has been brought to our attention on numerous occasions by many sources that Hausfeld has been openly bringing in one round of retired players after another into the discussions while excluding the original Plaintiffs from many of the calls and meetings. This was pointed out in Fred Dryer’s earlier comments (Click HERE to read that post) as well as in Dan Pastorini’s complaint and suit (Click HERE to read that post). If indeed, Hausfeld LLP has chosen to be the enforcer of this gag order by sending Dave a ‘DRAFT‘ warning, why wouldn’t the NFL’s attorneys – and the courts – hold anyone else other than Bob Lurtsema to the same standard and rules? Inquiring minds DO want to know – especially the ACLU.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Apologies in advance for the long post. We held back until the court issued its final ruling earlier on Monday so we could include everything filed for our readers to review for themselves.
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DRAFT Letter from Hausfeld LLP to Parties Re Gag Order Sept 5 2012
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Sept 4 2012 Gag Order on Settlement Discussions
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Then they moved ahead with the NFL to file a Motion the next day against Bob Lurtsema citing the gag order that had been put in place on some of the early discussions and looking to penalize and sanction Lurtsema for violating the gag order. We’ve uploaded copies of the original Motion – as well as all filings that followed leading up to Judge Boylan’s final ruling at the end – to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):
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NFL/Hausfeld Motion to Show Cause
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NFL/Hausfeld Memo in Support of Motion to Show Cause
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NFL/Hausfeld Notice of Hearing on Motion to Show Cause
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Here is the first brief filed filed on behalf of the original Plaintiffs by attorneys Bob Stein, Jon King and Tom Ward in opposition of the Motion by the NFL and Hausfeld:
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Brief in Opposition to NFL/Hausfeld Motion to Show Cause
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And here’s a second 14-page supplemental brief filed by the original Plaintiffs in opposition of the Motion by the NFL and Hausfeld, prior to the final ruling by the court:
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Dryer Supplemental Opposition Filed Dec 10, 2012 on NFL/Hausfeld Motion to Show Cause
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And here is the final denial of the Motion as issued by Judge Boylan on Monday, December 10, 2012:
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Denial for Motion Against Bob Lurtsema and Plaintiffs filed by NFL/Hausfeld
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As Bob Lurtsema said in his letter, “I am against accepting it and wanted all of you to know why. But it should be your own call to make.
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