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Volume 20 No. 42
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Brady plaintiffs’ lawyers got $2.2M

The NFLPA paid Gibson Dunn & Crutcher $2.2 million in the more than seven months after the end of the lockout, almost half of that on July 28, two days after the Brady v. NFL case was settled, according to the union’s annual report.

Gibson Dunn represented the Brady plaintiffs, who were suing the NFL before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Who was paying for the firm became an issue during oral arguments on June 3, 2011. Ted Olson, counsel from Gibson Dunn, confirmed that the NFLPA was paying him. Critics of the NFLPA’s strategy during the labor battle suggested this reflected that the group had not really disbanded as a union, a necessary move to sue the league for antitrust violations.

The NFLPA operated as a trade association during the lockout.

Gibson Dunn also recently filed to represent former Tennessee Titans player Bruce Matthews before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Matthews wants to file his workers’ compensation claim under California law rather than Tennessee law.

The annual report shows the NFLPA tab for the collective-bargaining agreement was still being paid post-lockout. Under expenses listed as CBA, including for law firms Dewey & LeBoeuf and Latham & Watkins, the NFLPA spent more than $8 million — but that amount likely also reflects ongoing CBA matters.

— Daniel Kaplan