Sports

Eric Winston

Eric Winston, the current president of the NFL Players Association, has had a busy past few weeks. In addition to working with the Players’ Union to negotiate a new drug policy, Winston has had to deal with rather unprecedented discipline situations surrounding Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, among others, not to mention the questions surrounding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

But there’s a reason he was elected. Eric is incredibly intelligent and one of the more thoughtful interviewees in sports. Eric’s been nice enough to join me for a conversation about recent developments in collective bargaining, player discipline, and due process that will develop over the course of the next few days. Check back as our conversation develops…

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Louie C.K. has the definitive statement on the legal standing of corporal punishment (it’s Louie C.K., so I shouldn’t have to tell you NSFW):

” ‘Stop hitting me, you’re huge. You’re a giant and I can’t defend myself.’…

Kids are the only people in the world that you are allowed to hit… They’re the most vulnerable and they’re the most destroyed by being hit but it’s totally okay to hit them. And they’re the only ones. If you hit a dog, they’ll f***ing put you in jail for that s**t. You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly, f**k ‘em, who gives a s**t, let’s all hit them…

Let me say this, if you have kids and you do hit your kids, I totally get it. I’m not judging. I get it. My mom hit me. I don’t hit my kids… I’m not better than my mom, it’s because she was poor and I have money… I work two hours a week sometimes.”

That’s pretty much the law right there folks. Of course people shouldn’t hit their kids. It’s freaking barbaric. It’s proven to be an ineffective and damaging form of discipline.

But the law accepts the premise that some people are going to hit their children from time to time. Once you’re there, once you abandon a “zero tolerance” policy on corporal punishment for children, it’s exceedingly difficult to parse “reasonable” from “abusive” punishments…

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I suppose there are any number of moments that one can point to that perfectly encapsulate the complete insanity, inanity, and impotence of the NFL’s response to Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée. There is the Ravens tweet, of course. That perfectly horrible bit of victim-shaming, a 144 characters-or-less bite-sized lump of horrifying misogyny. There is John Harbaugh’s endorsement of Rice, a recommendation so heartily unnecessary, it sounded like a Hall of Fame introduction.

But in weirdness alone, the most perfect moment happened last night. That’s when the NFL chose the legal profession as its moral and ethical cover. In the punch bowl that is the NFL’s announcement of a laughably inept “independent” investigation, the league dropped this fantastic turd of a non-sequitur:

“Director Mueller’s investigation will be overseen by NFL owners John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the final report will be made public. Mara and Rooney are both attorneys.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… what?

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In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video TMZ posted of Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back, repeatedly striking his then-girlfriend and now wife, Janay Palmer:

There will be a lot of talk this week about whether the NFL saw this video when they suspended Rice for only two games. And there will be a lot of talk about whether Rice can be subjected to NFL “double jeopardy” and face additional consequences for his actions.

Before that discussion, can we talk about the part where the judicial system most certainly did see this video before sentencing Ray Rice to… nothing? Screw NFL suspensions. How is Ray Rice not in JAIL?

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* It’s fun to keep suing the Redskins over their racist nickname. It’s also fun to watch the Washington Football Club get the snot beat out of them. [ABA Journal]

* Legal aid… for inventor seeking venture capital. Everybody needs lawyers, folks. Nobody wants to pay for them. [San Jose Mercury News]

* Goldman picks and chooses which employees have their legal fees picked up by the firm. [New York Times]

* Judge Posner’s past pontifications on gay marriage, sans benchslaps. [Washington Blade]

* Harvard received the largest donation in its history. It wasn’t from me. [Business Insider]

* A nice review of David Lat’s book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), by Judge Kopf. [Hercules and the Umpire]

Is the Supreme Court ready for its close-up?

* Most Americans want Supreme Court proceedings on video. Because C-SPAN is so popular. [Legal Times]

* It was bound to happen at some point. Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Martin Feldman, who you might remember from lifting the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium while holding thousands in oil drilling assets (which he sold the morning that he issued his decision), became the first judge since Windsor to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage as constitutional. [National Law Journal]

* Need white-collar representation? Milbank has Apps for that. Specifically, Antonia Apps, the federal prosecutor who took a leading role in the SAC Capital Advisors insider trading case, is decamping to Milbank. [Reuters]

* “What’s it like to be the lawyer for Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones? Depends if you’re winning.” I don’t know about that, Jerry Jones seems to be getting pretty used to accepting failure. [Dallas Business Journal]

* Gibson Dunn has left New York’s teacher tenure battle, leaving the job of gutting public education in the state to Kirkland & Ellis. [New York Law Journal]

* A professor carrying a concealed handgun shot himself in the foot. But remember the answer to school shootings is making sure all the teachers are armed. [TaxProf Blog]

* More Squire Patton Boggs defections: At least a dozen members of the IP group have bolted the newly-merged firm to open a D.C. office for Porzio, Bromberg & Newman. [Washington Post]

Burger King bounty for Biglaw.

* Judge Posner dished out a whole lot of benchslaps at yesterday’s Seventh Circuit arguments over Indiana and Wisconsin’s bans on same-sex marriage. [BuzzFeed]

* Major U.S. and Canadian law firms chow down on Burger King’s whopper of a deal with Tim Hortons. [Am Law Daily]

* A recent Delaware court ruling on attorney-client privilege might allow in-house lawyers to speak more freely about wrongdoing at their companies, according to Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon. [DealBook / New York Times]

* The corruption trial of former Virginia governor continues; yesterday Bob McDonnell’s sister took the stand. [Washington Post]

* A favorable evidentiary ruling for Aaron Hernandez. [Fox Sports]

* And good news for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, the two law professors running for governor and lieutenant governor of New York: the Times dissed their opponent, Andrew Cuomo, with a non-endorsement. [New York Times]

* I recently spoke with one of my cousins Joao Atienza of the Cebu Sun Star, about Above the Law and the world of legal blogging. [Cebu Sun Star]

* In this summer’s Biglaw lawsuitpalooza, real estate and conflicts took the lead as headliners. Poor Boies Schiller had double the trouble when it came to ethics complaints. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]

* New Jersey taxpayers owe Gibson Dunn & Crutcher about $6.5 million thanks to Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal. Thanks for the pain in our pocketbooks, chief. [Daily Report (reg. req.)]

* “It’s been a minor inconvenience to us, but of course I don’t like somebody hijacking my name and using it to hurt someone else.” Two Florida law firms are investigating why someone sent out 42 anonymous state bar complaints against one firm using the other firm’s mailing address. [Orlando Sentinel]

* Charleston School of Law is starting a new academic year with even more confusion than it was in last year, considering that its InfiLaw buyout is in a state of flux. Maybe that’s a good thing. [Post and Courier]

* Three ex-Lingerie Football League players have filed class action suits against the club, alleging minimum wage law violations. Come on, pay these half-naked athletes a living wage. [National Law Journal]

* Robert Manfred Jr., formerly a partner of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, is now the commissioner of Major League Baseball, and he beat out another former Biglaw buddy from Kelley Drye & Warren to snag the job. [Am Law Daily]

* “My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.” Michele Roberts is the first lady to lead the NBAPU, and you don’t want to mess with her. [New York Times]

* In case you haven’t heard by now, Governor Rick Perry was indicted on Friday on felony charges of abusing his power in office. Aww, poor guy. Not for nothing, but we can’t wait to see his mug shot. [New York Times]

* Quinnipiac Law has a new building that cost $50 million, and it’s designed to hold between 400 and 500 students. With only 292 students currently enrolled, that’s a lot of wishful thinking. [New Haven Register]

* “This is a lawsuit against the lawyers for being lawyers, for doing what lawyers do.” It also seems to be a lawsuit that’s allegedly about sex, lies, illegal video tapes… and Waffle House. [Daily Report (reg. req.)]

Did you say threesome, Dean?

“For sure. It’s the first time I’ve ever followed a court case. Because, I mean, it effects me personally, y’know?”

Scarlett was fiddling with a dildo the size of my arm when she explained to me how the industry felt about it.

“As far as I can tell, and I’m no lawyer, but as far as I can tell? This O’Bannon stuff means amateur pornography is over.”

The student-actress spoke into the webcam with a surprising confidence as she slowly gyrated her waifish body.

“Maybe I won’t make a ton of money. Won’t become rich like the stars do. But it sure would make getting through school easier. Which, I mean, all the producers say that’s what they’re trying to help me with. School.”

“And here’s another thing I think,” she said, her hands now doing something that could only be described as anything but professional.

“I believe in the ideal of amateurism. In the notion of ‘Hey, this is me and this is my real boyfriend and we aren’t getting paid for this.’ I believe in that. But I also could use a bit of money. To buy books. And food. Maybe more lube.” At this, the show stopped and she quickly covered up, suddenly demure and pitiful.

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