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SBD/July 3, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
One Law Firm Settles With NFL Retirees, Second Firm Moves To Have Deal Stopped
Published July 3, 2012
CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES NEEDED: Manatt in a filing the next day asked the appeals court to reject the proposed settlement because it would complicate its own efforts to have the case dismissed. The settlement, Manatt argued, would require time consuming and expensive class certification procedures at the lower court level where the suit would be remanded. That would "inevitably result in complicated and fact-intensive litigation in the District Court, even though the principal issue on appeal is whether the District Court’s dismissal of the underlying putative class action should be affirmed based on principles of finality and thus bar all further proceedings in the case,” Manatt said in a counter motion. The retirees in '07 sued the NFLPA, claiming a cut of active player licensing fees. The jury in '08 did not find for the retirees on that charge, but did rule the union did not do enough to market the ex-players. The law firms, however, had not supplied an expert report on what the retirees’ market worth could have been with more NFLPA marketing. In fact, the NFLPA initially appealed the jury decision, largely on that issue. But as the appeal was pending at the Ninth Circuit, NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith settled the case in April '09 in part to soothe tensions between the union and retirees.