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Our First Attorneys Only Newsletter – February 2020

Greetings Counsel:

I’m excited to send you our first “Attorney’s Only” newsletter, to introduce you to some FREE features that Advocacy for Fairness in Sports has recently implemented that we believe attorneys representing athletes and those generally within the sports law sector will find useful.

The first is “The Bliz” a weekly compilation of our picks for the ten most interesting sports law cases reported over the past week, with brief summaries or article excerpts with links for additional reading.  In addition to the top 10, we sometimes link to other stories of interest.  We try to cover both the big stories and others that may tend to fly under the radar.  Here’s an excerpt:


Kris Bryant loses grievance against Cubs, won’t be free agent until after 2021 season

(ESPN-Jeff Passan)   Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant lost his grievance in which he sought an extra year of service time, ensuring he won’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season, sources familiar with the ruling told ESPN.

Major League Baseball arbitrator Mark Irvings’ ruling in favor of the team was long expected, sources said, and it definitively locks in Bryant’s value as Chicago considers trading him. With two seasons of team control, the Cubs can seek a far greater return than they could have had Bryant won and accelerated his free agency.  Continue reading…


NFL not investigating New Orleans Saints advising church in its response to pedophilia case, source says

(The Athletic-Daniel Kaplan)  The NFL is not investigating the New Orleans Saints over advising the local Catholic church’s messaging in response to a lawsuit accusing the archdiocese of covering up allegations of sexual abuse, a league source said. Nor does the league plan to do so in the future unless Saints emails show troublesome actions.  Continue reading… See also:  What the Latest Allegations Mean for the Saints in the Clergy Child Sexual Abuse Case (Sports Illustrated-Michael McCann)

Click for #8 counting down to our #1 sports law picks

While “The Blitz” is actually a reincarnation of a feature that we’ve done before, “The Docket” is brand new, and perhaps somewhat ambitious.  We’re attempting to keep an up-to-date record of filings in numerous sports law cases being tracked by Advocacy for Fairness in Sports.  Since the dockets never rest, the page will be updated several times per week with the most current filings.

We hope this will be a useful feature for you and as such, welcome your input as to how we might make it better.  As you can see, we’ve arranged cases by placing those with the most current filings on top, and because this is the initial launch, have gone back to include filings from mid-January for continuity, whereas future editions will only contain filings from the title month.

The Docket
The Docket strives to keep you informed of current proceedings in numerous sports law cases.  Because we can’t possibly cover all of the important cases to watch, and not all of them find their way into The Blitz, we’re adding documents as we check the various court dockets we track, organized by month.  Since the courts never take a break, this page will be perpetually updated so bookmark it and check back frequently.  You can also contribute your own sports law documents by using the form at the bottom of the page.  Since Advocacy for Fairness in Sports primarily tracks cases on the federal docket, we especially appreciate your state law contributions.





02/03/2020 10985-0-Plaintiff AG’s Motion for an Indicative Ruling Under FRCP 62(1) NFL Concussion Settlement
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Contributed by AFFIS
10985_1-Memorandum of Law in Support of Indicative Ruling

10985_2-Declaration of Wendy Fleishman

01/27/2020 10973-0-Show Cause Order Re Amon Gordon Rule 60 Motion
01/27/2020 10974_0-Order Scheduling Hearing for Class Counsel’s Motion For Approval of Education Fund Programs
02/03/2020 123 0 NFLPA Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss Christopher Hudson v NFL, NFLPA, Bert Bell-Peter Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan
Southern District of New York
Contributed by AFFIS
02/03/2020 121_0-Board Defendants Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss
01/23/2020 120-0-Hudson Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants Motion to Dismiss
02/02/2020 234 000 Avenatti Letter Motion to Suppress Bar Ethics Exhibits United States v Michael Avenatti
Southern District of New York
(Nike extortion)
Contributed by AFFIS
01/30/2020 203-000-Order Granting Motion to Quash
01/30/2020 228-000-Memorandum in Support of Stovall Motion to Quash
01/30/2020 224-000-Order Regarding Nike Counsel
More of “The Docket”

In addition to the sample filings above, we’ve currently listed more Avenatti filings plus recent filings in the following cases:

As you can see, we track a variety of cases and this is just a small sample of what we’re following.  With a few exceptions, we tend to track cases on the federal dockets, and would welcome submissions from state court cases or federal cases that we might not be tracking.

There’s a form at the bottom of the page that allows you to upload files.  You can do so with a credit or anonymously.  None of the fields in the form are mandatory to ensure your privacy if desired.  You can also anonymously submit non-public filings that might be of interest to our investigative reporting team using the same form.

document cloud
Though not a new feature, our Document Cloud Project is an ongoing listing of various sports law cases open and closed linking often to near-complete case files.  If you’re not familiar with the project, we invite you to take a look.
If you enjoy Twitter or have been thinking about giving it a try, our team has compiled a listing of Top 100 Sports Law accounts to follow.  Some of the names will likely be very familiar, with others more obscure, but we’ve scoured Twitter to find the best and most consistent sports law tweeters from the United States and abroad and put them in one place for your enjoyment and information.

If you’re not all that familiar with Advocacy for Fairness in Sports, we’re a nonprofit, athlete advocacy-oriented news blog that focuses on reporting court cases involving athlete rights and investigative journalism.  Here’s a recent article derived from our audit of a decade’s worth of NFL disability/retirement plan Form 5500s.  And yeah, we often include some campy graphics but don’t let that fool you; the articles are 100% serious and well-researched.

doctors in a box

Who hid the NFL Disability Doctors?

Sometimes what you see tells a story.  Sometimes what you don’t see tells an even bigger one.  Both statements are true when it comes to the NFL’s Bert Bell-Pete Rozelle Retirement/Disability Plan.

Players have a very difficult task in qualifying for disability benefits, especially if their injuries are related to their careers, and the most difficult level of all to qualify for is “Active Football,” which means the player became disabled within six months of the end of his career.  Often players leave the game injured and think they’ll get better.  Often they try to rehab for more than six months before they give up and decide to apply for disability, but should they wait six months and a day after their last game, they’ll be forever locked into a lower benefit tier without extensive litigation and often even when they litigate.

Continue reading

As you may have guessed, I’d never been known for brevity, but don’t worry, you’re not going to be relentlessly spammed by Advocacy for Fairness in Sports.  You’ve been included in the “Attorneys Only” newsletter because you’ve either, signed up for it, interacted with Advocacy for Fairness in Sports, or are known to be an attorney who represents athletes in litigation and/or an attorney focused on sports law.

These newsletters will only go out sporadically as we have information we feel is of specific interest to you.  We have two monthly newsletters, a General Interest newsletter encompassing the wide world of sports and its legal issues, and one geared toward retired NFL Players and their families, that focuses specifically on issues of relevance to former NFLers.  In addition to these, we also send out quarterly fundraising letters since our 100% reader-supported work isn’t cheap to produce.

If you’re not already on our mailing list for one of our regularly published newsletters, we encourage you to sign up for the one that most fits your focus area.

We hope the new features we’ve announced in this newsletter will be useful to you, as they are specifically geared toward the sports law community, and of course, we welcome your suggestions.  You can contact me (Sheilla) directly by replying to this email or you can communicate with us anonymously (or not) through The Docket’s document upload form.

Sheilla Dingus
        Best Regards,
        Sheilla J. Dingus, Founder, and President

Follow Sheilla on Twitter for the latest news on important cases and events

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