Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mediation ongoing in NFL Referee Dispute

Last weekend's failed negotiations between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and locked-out NFLRA game officials could not have been more evident than in Monday Night Football's botched calls. The ongoing labor dispute between owners and officials may have given refs more leverage than anticipated due to fan and commentator outrage, not to mention the football players. A league memo by general counsel told the officials' union and a federal mediator who joined talks Sunday that it is prepared to make reasonable compromises on economic issues in exchange for operational changes the league believes will improve the quality of officiating. However, the biggest economic sticking point is a traditional pension plan for existing officials, which the league wants to eliminate and replace with a 401(k) plan. The memo said the officials’ most recent offer includes a make-up bonus for lost wages from the lockout and a reduction in disciplinary authority over officials. See http://nyti.ms/UsWGIf and listen http://www.npr.org/2012/09/25/161729675/calls-grow-for-nfl-to-settle-dispute-with-refs

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Arbitrators throw out NFL suspensions

An NFL arbitration panel threw out the League’s suspensions of four players involved with the New Orleans Saints bounty or pay-to-injure case. A one year suspension of linebacker Jonathan Vilma was overturned, along with shorter suspensions to Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith, according to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). League Commissioner, Roger Goodell, suspended the players last May, but the latest decision apparently doesn’t affect suspensions handed down to Saints coaches. This was an appeal of an earlier grievance decision by Arbitrator, Stephen Burbank, that upheld the Commissioner's authority under the collective bargaining agreement to impose "conduct detrimental" discipline on players who provided or offered to provide financial incentives to injure opponents. The appeals panel of arbitrators consisted of retired San Francisco federal Judge Fern Smith, retired New York federal Judge Richard Howell, and Georgetown Professor James Oldham. The decision could impact consolidated federal lawsuits brought against the NFL by linebacker Vilma and the NFLPA on behalf of the other three players until Commissioner Goodell decides whether to reissue punishment within his power. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan was spared from having to decide before Sunday on a TRO requested by the players. Interestingly, earlier in the week, Judge Berrigan lamented failure of settlement talks wrote she was concerned competing agendas among lawyers on all sides in the dispute were undermining the interests of the players-- asking whether it made more sense for Smith, Fujita and Hargrove to have separate lawyers, rather than the same lawyers representing the NFLPA. The players informed the judge in documents filed that they were comfortable with union representation. See stories-http://fxn.ws/PcFlEE and http://bit.ly/PSLCT8 and http://buswk.co/QslG3s and http://wapo.st/OXj4st and NFLPA statement-https://m.nflplayers.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Orlando Mediator ABA Blawg 100 Amici

Readers of my Orlando Mediator law blog or official ABA "blawg" as they are known can help it become part of the Blawg 100 by submitting a fan comment via this online form-- http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit/ The American Bar Association will include some of the best comments in their Blawg 100 coverage. But keep your remarks pithy—you have a 500-character limit.Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Sept. 7, 2012. http://bit.ly/duhsEWBlawg 100 Amici guidelines ask readers to send messages via the link above on behalf of this blawg. There is no specific criteria to be guaranteed a spot on the Blawg 100. A blawg’s whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, and a blawg that never fails to post that daily update, has a beautiful design and an unwavering topical focus can very often have less of an impact than another blawg that is less consistent on all fronts. Thanks for your votes for Orlando Mediator!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Electronic Everything now in Effect!

Effective September 1, 2012, E-Discovery amendments to the following existing Florida Rules of Civil Procedure drafted in my subcommittee are effective: 1.200 (Pretrial Procedure); 1.201 (Complex Litigation); 1.280 (General Provisions Governing Discovery); 1.340 (Interrogatories to Parties); 1.350 (Production of Documents and Things and Entry Upon Land for Inspection and Other Purposes); 1.380 (Failure to Make Discovery; Sanctions); and 1.410 (Subpoena). These rules will now include Electronically Stored Information or ESI. See Florida Supreme Court E-Discovery amendments opinion at--http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2012/sc11-1542.pdf Additionally, mandatory E-service begins in civil, probate, small claims, and family law divisions of the trial courts, as well as in all appellate cases. Service by E-mail under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516 is deemed complete when sent. E-mail service is made by attaching a copy of the document to be served in PDF format. The E-mail must contain the subject line "SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT" in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the relevant proceeding. The body of the E-mail must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served, and the sender’s name and telephone number. The E-mail and attachments together may not exceed 5 megabytes in size or must be divided into separate e-mails (no one of which may exceed 5 megabytes) and labeled sequentially in the subject line. E-mail service will be mandatory for attorneys practicing in remaining divisions on October 1, 2013. See E-Service opinion at--http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2012/sc10-2101.pdf Finally, though civil ECF is well-established in Orange County, new electronic filing requirements adopted by the Fifth District Court of Appeal begin today by Administrative Order--http://www.5dca.org/Clerk/Administrative%20Orders/AO5D12-03_08_12.pdf. Those who practice in this area should register with the appellate court's eDCA system-- http://edca.5dca.org Incidentally, I tried uploading a Mediation Report via eDCA this morning and there are presently no upload categories for documents appellate court-appointed neutrals file, such as reports and evaluations. I have contacted the clerk about this with my filing.