Over the past 24 hours, we’ve certainly had a lot of discussions around the old adage “Not seeing the forest for the trees.” In the old way of controlling their spin on all stories about football, the NFL managed to keep all of the television networks and most of the major print media on very short leashes because of their broadcast rights and access to players and managers for interviews. And then the Internet came along. Despite claims of a few who proudly proclaim they invented the Internet and Facebook, this new medium has not only moved the retired football players battle to a new and level playing field; it’s in a different league altogether. Just as the past two weeks have completely caught Tiger Woods and his team of old-school PR flacks like deer in the headlights, the NFLPA and the NFL and their old media machines have been hard-pressed to catch up with a new medium that they can no longer control. The Internet doesn’t belong to anyone and it belongs to everyone.
This is the 4-page final settlement agreement that was signed by Judge William Alsup in San Francisco on Nov. 23, 2009.
(The crew over at DocStoc have added some great new features: Click on the FULL SCREEN button to enlarge it for easier navigation – hit the ESC key to close. You can also click the DOWNLOAD button to save a PDF copy for printing and reading. There’s also a Menu button in the upper left corner with even more options.) .
… And here’s the 12-page Summary from Judge Alsup covering Attorneys’ Fees, costs and compensation for the class representative. Everything Bernie Parrish has pointed out is covered in this document …and more. (Ouch!)
On November 23, 2009, in San Francisco, California, Federal District Court Judge William Alsup rendered a blistering set of three orders approving the settlement agreement in Parrish & Adderley vs. NFLPA Players Inc. However, in rendering the orders, Judge Alsup said of the award of attorneys’ fees, “When combined with the expense reimbursement below, counsel is receiving approximately 25 percent of the value of the settlement. This figure adequately compensates counsel for the work performed in this action. A reasonable fee in light of the ultimate recovery obtained for the class, and is reasonable in light of the missed opportunity for an even higher recovery.”
After what seems like an eternity, Manett Phelps & Phillips and McKool Smith filed Motions in the Parrish, Adderley, Roberts vs. the NFLPA/Players Inc. class action lawsuit late last week for final review and court approval on August 20, 2009 by Judge Alsup. The documents just became available online so we’ve loaded them up on DocStoc once again for easier viewing and searching. The main part of the Motion outlines the basics of the case and subsequent settlement. The Exhibits outline the payment plan and schedules with the first payment scheduled for July 13, 2009 (they’ll miss that one!) and the second set for June 5, 2010.
It’s always interesting digging into the details: Turns out the settlement will be managed and distributed by Garden City Group which just happens to be right here in Seattle. Half of the funds (around $13 million) were placed into escrow on July 13th, the day this Motion was apparently filed. And then barring no problems, the balance will be placed into escrow on June 5, 2010 for distribution shortly after that. Another interesting detail from Page 7 of Exhibit 1: Players who elected to Opt-Out John Baker, Richard Yelvington, Lynn Chandnois, John Demarie, Dan Goich, Daniel Direnzo, James “Scottie” Graham, Deacon Jones, Steve Largent, Brig Owens, Ben Pucci, Donald Testerman and Andre Collins were all excluded from suit.
Now that Judge Alsup handed down his final order on the Class Action lawsuit filed against the NFLPA/Players Inc. by Bernie Parrish, Herb Adderley and Walt Roberts, more details and analysis is starting to show up in sports columns across the country.
Now that Round One is over, there’s been lots of coverage on the NFLPA lawsuit verdict everywhere. In this typical article from the Los Angeles Times (click HERE to read it) and many more along with it – it seems that acting NFLPA Executive Director Richard Berthelsen is doing his best to carry on in his best Gene Upshaw tradition. He hires an expensive antitrust New York law firm to represent them (all at your union’s expense, of course) and then when they lose, he instantly declared that it was a “Miscarriage of justice” in his first public statements.
This is just coming in right now on the class lawsuit by Bernie Parrish, Herb Adderley, Walter Roberts and a cast of thousands against the NFLPA/Players Inc. in San Francisco. It looks like the jury has come back in favor of the plaintiffs! More as news breaks…
In short, WE WON!!! On both counts of Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty and the jury is now charged with considering punitive damages.
Jeff Nixon was originally scheduled to be interviewed in September on NPR as part of a story on the trial just as it was starting. But with Gene Upshaw’s timely departure from the scene, the trial was postponed until Monday, Oct. 20, 2008.
In another attempt to avoid the light of public scrutiny, the NFLPA took another run at overturning the scheduled Sept. 22nd Federal trial between Herb Adderley, Bernie Parrish, Walt Roberts et al vs. Players Inc. (NFLPA subsidiary). But Judge William Allsup rendered a decision today that cleared the case for trial, declaring, “There continues to exist a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the GLAs (Group Licensing Agreements) guaranteed retired players something more than empty promises.”
Watch the news over the next 24 hours for more coverage on this story. Earlier post on this trial can be read by clicking HERE. You can almost HEAR certain people sweating back at the NFLPA offices…
A lot of people are still barely aware of the lawsuit filed against the NFLPA and its subsidiary, Players Inc. Players Inc. has been the licensing arm of the NFLPA, allegedly set up to “represent” NFL players, past, present and future (Gee – does that sound familiar?) in the licensing of their images and the promotion of their respective teams. Any of you fans who have bought NFL merchandise – from jerseys and gear all the way down to your basic bubble gum cards – will already know that it’s all big business. You can’t produce anything with a team’s logo or a player’s likeness without the absolute consent of Players Inc. – along with a healthy licensing royalty – unless you want to see the inside of a courtroom under intense fire from their corporate attorneys!
Looks like the NFLPA has finally begrudgingly placed a notification about the Class Action lawsuit filed by Herb Adderley, Bernie Parrish and Walter Roberts against the NFLPA and Players, Inc. for nonpayment of royalties from group licensing revenues to retired players, among other claims. They’re obviously going out of their way to make sure that their members are always kept well-informed as you can see from their prominent placement at the very bottom of the NFLPA website: (Click on the picture to enlarge.)