A new copy of Hausfeld’s “The Voice” went out yesterday with a copy of Judge Magnuson’s order from the week before. We posted that order in an earlier post- clickHEREto read the Judge’s full order from Sept. 6th.And once again as expected, more misinformation. Their latest newsletter tries to take Jason Luckasevic, Jason Shipp, Bob Stein and Hagens Berman to task by only stating that Judge Magnuson had ordered those parties to “dismiss their lawsuits” (until this phase is resolved). Full Translation: While the judge was not pleased with the timing of the suits, the Culp vs NFL Films and Tatum vs NFL Films lawsuits will be voluntarily dismissed by their respective attorneys “Without Prejudice.” In other words, those suits are only withdrawn temporarily and can be re-filed again at a future date. They are NOT being thrown out permanently by the courts. .continue reading »
It started with a message from Joe DeLamielleure and then Fred Dryer, Ed White and Elvin Bethea joined him to let everyone how important it is to Opt Out of the NFL Films Settlement offer now. Friday is the final deadline for getting your Opt Out paperwork in so we strongly suggest everyone should get this done by Thursday whether you do it yourself or use an attorney if you haven’t done so already. We’ve added a countdown clock to the upper right sidebar of our Blog page so you can see how little time you have left. To OPT OUT of the NFL Films Settlement Offer, please refer to the 12-page overview that was originally sent to members of the Class (click HERE to read the document and your options). .continue reading »
Jim McFarland officially filed his opt out from the Dryer vs NFL Films Settlement offer with the Minnesota court today. Jim has had a very unique, inside view of things, having been one of two retired players who were invited to participate with the NFLPA (Jim was voted to the NFLPA Executive Committee in 2010) during some of the early phases of the last CBA negotiations with the NFL a couple of years ago. Jim later expressed frustration at his lack of a vote in any of the matters discussed and how many of his suggestions were ignored or dismissed with little consideration..Jim was also with us at the early meetings at Hausfeld’s offices when he was taking part in CBA discussions with the PA. With six years playing for the Bills, Cardinals and Dolphins in the 70′s and his post-football career as a practicing attorney in Nebraska, Jim continues to bring a unique perspective on the NFL Films deal with his filing against this Settlement offer.We’ve uploaded a copy of Jim MacFarland’s opt-out 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):. .
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post came in from Rick Eber in answer to Jerry Sherk’s comments on our Monday Morning Chuckle post – click HERE to read first. .
Jerry, . I agree with your thinking. Good call. . Let me see if I understand correctly. . Bob Stein and Tom Ward work for the original Dryer plaintiffs. Like their clients, they oppose the settlement supporting the opt-out option. Because the court might approve the settlement, Bob and Tom need to submit their fees along with supporting documents or they won’t get paid for years of work. This means that Bob and Tom actually don’t want to get paid unless they are forced to do so by the courts. Fact is, Bob and Tom are willing to delay payment of their legal fees by opposing the settlement. And Hausfeld sees this as being – my word: two-faced. Makes you wonder! . Bob and Tom are actually working against their own financial interests by opposing the settlement. Talk about commitment. How many of us would fight to delay and actually run the risk of losing a million plus for a “fairness principle” and retired teammates? . If this settlement is forced upon Bob and Tom, they still deserve to be paid for their work like any other good attorney! . “Like any other good attorney” is an interesting notion. I ask myself, what would Hausfeld do if they were in the same situation as Bob and Tom? For example: The concussion settlement team reaches an agreement with the NFL that Hausfeld believes is unfair and inappropriate; consequently, Hausfeld opposes the settlement just like Bob and Tom. In following this example, I would certainly then expect Hausfeld to NOT submit his million-plus fees to the court just as they are criticizing Bob and Tom for doing now. Fair? Or does anyone believe the Hausfeld firm would be considered – what’s that word? – hypocritical by submitting their legal fees to the court even though they oppose the settlement… just like Bob and Tom? . In this example, if Hausfeld hypocritically asked the court for fees, would they “take credit” by giving the court a list of contributions they made to the settlement effort to justify their fees? I would think yes, just as Bob and Tom need to do. Or would Hausfeld submit the request for fees to the court without any “take credit” evidence of contribution to the settlement and expect the court to approve? If the answer is yes, we have no chance in the concussion litigation! . The real answer is simple: Bob and Tom don’t want this deal but they deserve payment even if it’s settled against their will and they need to be properly compensated for their contribution to the case. Hausfeld would certainly do the same. This is a legal process trap for Bob and Tom that Hausfeld is manipulating in their “newsletter” thing that is more propaganda than legitimate communication, in my humble opinion. End of story. Period! . This attack on Bob and Tom is a Hausfeld canard that wreaks of hypocrisy and sophism! . What’s scary? This is the critical thinking-power of a law firm I once considered to represent me in the concussion litigation lawsuit! When asked, I would not recommend any firm that attacks an alumni brother to anyone. If they give us up this easily on the NFL Films lawsuit, I can only imagine how quickly they’ll sell us out on our concussion lawsuits! . Take care, Jerry! . Rick Eber Falcons, Chargers 1968 – 1972 . . . .
To Hausfeld LLP et al: . Well, if you’ve forgotten about our past posts and the subsequent veiled and not-so-veiled threats from you and your associates we’ve received this year over the Dryer vs NFL Films Settlement offer, it might be a good idea to go back and read them first. This is a blog. We voice OPINIONS. It’s an editorial right protected under the First Amendment. The ACLU will have a field day with you and the NFL if you’d like to take that topic up with them. . In the meantime,”as responsible journalists,” we’ll certainly post your item on OUR blog as soon as you and your partner firms do the following:
Operate as ethical attorneys;
Represent your clients;
Provide full disclosure on backroom side deals with the NFL;
Provide full Opt-Out and Objection forms immediately to all members of the class;
Publicly disclose all Opt-Outs and Objections immediately instead of blocking them from view until just before the next hearing;
Stop client-shopping and represent and consult with the Original Plaintiffs in this lawsuit.
So we just pointed out how the NFL is now cranking up full court press on their own network and website with Jim Brown promoting the NFL Films Settlement Offer along with its Common Good Fund. We’ve also already pointed out how the NFL has already provided their PR agency to Hausfeld LLP to handle their press announcements (click HERE). But have many of you also been checking out the “Official” Pro Football Retired Players Association website that was also promoted on the bottom of the screen on Jim Brown’s plug for the Settlement? . . And the PFRPA and website are being promoted in every newsletter and e-mail going out to everyone they can find: .
Thanks to all of you for a great response to our NFL Films Poll so far! But we need everyone’s help to pass this along to all our old teammates wherever they are. We’re sure many of you may “not be located” by the mailing for your Options Instructions and that’s all the more reason we need to get this informal poll (and the information) out to as many retired players as possible. There’s a clear reason why retired players have always been kept in the dark and never allowed any kind of a vote on any issues or benefits that affect us. We need to send a clear message that the majority of retired players see this as the bad deal that it really is for all of us. . VOTE HERE:.
. We’re asking each person voting in this poll to provide their name for several reasons: While our poll already includes security measures that will disqualify duplicate votes from the same source, we’re sure that even with overwhelming votes, keeping every vote anonymous will be just one more excuse for some to question the integrity of our poll. So please add your name to your vote so the NFL and their lawyers can hear you loud and clear (NOTE: We’ll keep your name offline but it will be matched to your vote). And BTW – all visitors are blocked from voting twice. . PLEASE NOTE: This is strictly a poll to get a general idea of retired players’ opinions and not an Opt Out or Objection form. To OPT OUT or FILE OBJECTIONS to the NFL Films Settlement Offer, please refer to the 12-page overview that was recently sent to members of the Class (clickHEREto read the document and your options). .
Dave, . Here are my thoughts and decisions related to the Publicity Rights settlement proposal. . I have decided to exclude myself from the proposed settlement for the following reasons: . 1. I detest the emotional extortion or guilt built into the settlement. . 2. What will I receive in exchange? More over-branded NFL charity? Still waiting for clarity on this issue. . 3. The math bothers me. Let’s see: $50 million minus $13 million for the NFL’s exclusion legal fees minus $7 million for attorneys’ fees minus fees to Jim Brown and others minus Board operating costs, minus each charities’ expense ratio of approximately 35% = Just peanuts for retired players. .continue reading »
By now, many of you should have already received a copy of the Dryer vs NFL (Films) Settlement Order overview and options.For those of you who haven’t received it yet or who may not be on their mailing lists, we’ve uploaded a copy to Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog and to make it available for downloading and printing, especially to those of you who may not even be on their mailing list. 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): .
. Basically you have three options:
Do nothing and agree with this Settlement offer; you (and/or your family) will likely receive nothing and your rights will be assigned to the NFL at the end of this agreement;
Object to this Settlement offer and file your objections with the Court;
Disagree and completely Opt Out of this Settlement offer so you can pursue other legal options and not waive your rights with this agreement.
Well, it’s been over a week since we were last threatened by Dan Gustafson’s office. And the paperwork citing your options has now gone out to all those retired players that can be located. At least that’s what one would hope. At this stage – considering everything we’ve seen from those who continue to promote the NFL Films Settlement Offer as the best thing retired players can possibly expect from the NFL – we now stand more committed than ever to openly declaring our opposition to this Settlement. And we stand against it for even more reasons than before. The actions and words of those who would want to silence any who would even express any opposition or opinions speaks volumes. And while they would question the statements of those who oppose their position, these same basic questions remain unanswered by Gustafson, Hausfeld or Zimmerman: .
Can you name one retired player who will actually be receiving a direct payment as a result of this “historic” agreement? And how much he can expect to receive?
Will each retired player be giving up his identity rights forever to the NFL under this Settlement? And what – if anything – is the NFL actually giving up or paying for your rights?
How is this new licensing agency going to be any different – and better – from what the NFL Alumni was supposed to do under George Martin when they actually had access to the NFL shield and logo AND $5 million to run a licensing agency?
So here we go again. We received a 6-page letter from Dan Gustafson of Gustafson Gluek PLLC with an additional 33-page attachment from the long-winded proposed Settlement Offer in the Dryer vs NFL Films lawsuit. Rather than attaching the selected portions that came with the letter, you can read the original 21-page Preliminary Court Approval -clickHERE – and you can look up pages 82 – 93 of the Settlement Offer on an earlier post – clickHERE. . We’ve uploaded a copy of the letter from Gustafson to Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog 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):
The original lawsuit against NFL Films was filed with Fred Dryer as the original lead plaintiff with Elvin Bethea, Jim Marshall, Joe Senser, Dan Pastorini and Ed White joining him early in the process. Bob Stein and Tom Ward were the original attorneys working with Fred Dryer. Naturally, Bob Stein and Tom Ward are excluded from any attorney fees (as are the original six plaintiffs) by the NFL group that includes Hausfeld LLP, Zimmerman & Reed and Gustafson Gluek, all for having the gall to ask for what the NFL really owes ALL NFL players: Money. . In this third part of our discussion. Fred makes a strong and passionate argument against the current Settlement Offer as presented and endorsed by the NFL and a separate group of retired players as recruited by Hausfeld and Zimmerman and the NFL. Questions were allowed during the discussion and you will hear the overwhelming objections from the audience to the NFL’s “final” Offer. And the Original Six Plaintiffs were all present or represented at our Conference (Jim Marshall’s wife managed to attend on his behalf and you can see her asking one of the questions from the audience). And as we pointed out earlier, it’s interesting that the so-called solid majority of other players and attorneys on the side of the NFL Settlement Offer could not muster one single lawyer or even one other player aside from Ron Mix to stand up for their wonderful deal. . YouTube Hints: You can enlarge the video to Full Screen mode simply by clicking on that Full Screen icon in the lower right hand corner of the video. You can also watch videos in HD (if available) by clicking that gear icon in the lower right and then selecting the highest resolution available. And each YouTube video can actually be paused or stopped at any point and you can also jump to any spot where you may have left earlier so there’s no need to watch through an entire video. .
Attorney Michael Ciresi (Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi) is one of the attorneys representing the Original Six Plaintiffs in the Dryer vs NFL Films lawsuit. Ciresi was the attorney who made the case against the Settlement Offer in Minnesota Federal Court while Dan Gustafson made the arguments for the Settlement Offer on behalf of a new group of added plaintiffs. In this second of three segments from our Dryer vs NFL Films discussion, you will hear Mike Ciresi give his legal arguments to retired players in the audience on why this is a one-sided offer made in bad faith.(You can read all Panelist biographies by clickingHERE.) . YouTube Hints: You can enlarge the video to Full Screen mode simply by clicking on that Full Screen icon in the lower right hand corner of the video. You can also watch videos in HD (if available) by clicking that gear icon in the lower right and then selecting the highest resolution available. And each YouTube video can actually be paused or stopped at any point and you can also jump to any spot where you may have left earlier so there’s no need to watch through an entire video. .
As we were planning our Conference over the last few weeks leading up to this past weekend, we had many discussions on the best way to present both sides of the Settlement Offer to the retired football player community so each one of you can make an informed decision. We finally decided to invite each attorney who made the final presentations in Federal Court to Judge Magnuson in Minnesota: attorney Dan Gustafson from the firm Gustafson Gluek PLLC accepted on behalf of the players whose names were listed in the Settlement Offer (you can review a copy of that offer by clicking HERE) and attorney Michael Ciresi of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi accepted on behalf of the original six plaintiffs. Of the six original plaintiffs, five of them managed to show up for the Conference. Ron Mix graciously accepted to present his reasons for accepting the offer while Fred Dryer – the original named plaintiff in Dryer vs NFL Films – joined Mike Ciresi to present their opposing position. . Unfortunately, by late Friday, we received confirmation that attorney Dan Gustafson would not be attending because of a family matter and no replacement would be sent to replace him, leaving Ron Mix to make the case for accepting the Settlement as well as answering questions from the audience. This Settlement Offer has been promoted as the best deal retired players can expect from the NFL while also declaring that only a very tiny but vocal minority of retirees were opposed to it. Quite frankly, we were surprised that those parties with their overwhelming majority didn’t manage to find one single replacement for attorney Gustafson to present their claim of a done deal. Ron Mix managed to maintain a dignified and professional approach in explaining many of the still-unanswered details of this 160+ page Settlement Offer while plaintiffs’ attorney Mike Ciresi and Fred Dryer each made their presentations of opposing what they believed to be a very one-sided and typically worthless Offer which included punitive expenses to be taken out of the Offer to fight those who would oppose it. While many in the audience vented their anger and frustration with the Offer towards Ron Mix personally, we truly believe that Ron sincerely felt that this was the best deal possible from a pragmatic point of view and as such, we need to respect Ron for being there to present his opinions in a very dignified manner. Our reasoning is that even with all their resources, no one else was sent to back Ron up was perhaps a way to damage Ron’s standing with retired players as a strong advocate for Workers Compensation rights, specifically in the State of California. Ron has successfully fought for Workers Comp benefits over many years for hundreds of professional athletes and now continues to personally carry on the battle to oppose California Bill AB 1309 which will eliminate Workers Comp claims for professional athletes in California. The League certainly benefits by eliminating these claims and damaging Ron’s standing in the retiree community would certainly be a side benefit of leaving him to defend their Settlement Offer on his own this past weekend. .continue reading »