You know, I was kidding about strenuously objecting the other day, but it sounds like the O’Bannon plaintiffs’ decision to abandon their individual damages claims and pursue a bench trial has apparently driven the NCAA to take my suggestion seriously:
“The NCAA vigorously objects to the Plaintiffs’ apparent last ditch effort to change course in this litigation. Because the NCAA was not informed of this decision until hours before this filing was due, the NCAA was not able to adjust any of this filing, save this subsection, or any of its pretrial disclosures to account for a bench trial. The NCAA reserves all rights to seek the appropriate relief in response to the Plaintiffs’ last-minute attempt to change the nature of the trial in this case. Further, in the event the case goes forward as a bench trial, the NCAA reserves all rights to revisit and revise all stipulations, pretrial filings, and submissions that were made today in anticipation of a jury trial.”
If it were me, I’d be fretting a lot more about this:
NCAA president Mark Emmert will testify during the trial of the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit relating to the names, images and likenesses of college athletes, according to court filings Wednesday.
The O’Bannon plaintiffs identified Emmert, former NCAA vice president Wally Renfro and NCAA Division I vice president David Berst as witnesses they want to appear live. All three are scheduled to testify for the defense at the June 9 trial in Oakland.
“The NCAA has indicated that it will check on the availability of the three individuals above to testify during Plaintiffs’ case-in-chief, but that is not sufficient,” lawyers for the O’Bannon plaintiffs wrote. “If those people do testify during the defense case, they need to be unequivocally made available for live testimony as part of Plaintiffs’ case and Plaintiffs need to know that sooner rather than later so they can prepare examination.”
In related news, NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn had no comment about these developments and is pondering taking a vow of silence for the duration of the trial.
UPDATE: Jon Solomon explains the tactics behind plaintiffs’ move.
Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the O’Bannon plaintiffs, said in an interview that the Keller plaintiffs’ decision to support the NCAA’s attempt to sever the videogame claims made a jury trial “problematic.” The O’Bannon plaintiffs’ individual claims will not be tried in the future, Hausfeld said.
“This was a self-sacrificing move,” Hausfeld said. “The greater issue here is the need to change and reform the system, to fix an enterprise that’s broken and disregards all of the principles that a business responding to legitimate open-market forces would have to.”
Hausfeld said the NCAA strongly objects to the change “because the move actually strengthens the (plaintiffs’) case. Because the case was always about the system, not an individual players’ monetary recovery.”
Hausfeld said trying the individual claims had also become difficult due to the NCAA inserting witnesses who had never filed a declaration in an attempt to “defuse issues and divert attention from the wrongs of the system.” The injunctive case was always going to be tried to Wilken, not a jury, and all that changed is the individual damage cases are gone, Hausfeld said.
When asked what the change means for the Keller plaintiffs, Hausfeld replied, “Beats me. That’s their decision.”
10 responses to “Donald Remy is shrill.”
Please oh please let Emmert take the stand and be subject to cross exam. Oh the things he might say.
Well, you obviously got it wrong. They didn’t strenuously object, they vigorously objected. Huge difference!
I kind of wish it was Adams shitting his pants over this instead of Emmert. Does that make me a bad person?
Adams is slicker under pressure (not saying he’s great, but certainly better than Emmert in this regard), and wouldn’t have been near as much of an imbecile in front of the microphone.
What are the chances we get a “Did you order the code red? You’re goddamn right I did” moment from Emmert?
I am guessing the chances are better than 50/50.
Not only that, he will say it strenuously and then vigorously fall off the wall (out of the chair) and a recess will be called so Humpty can take a moment for himself (because he’s kind of bummed there won’t be any jurors around to catch his act).
I know very little, luckily, about legal proceeding but does that mean that Emmert has the option of testifying? I thought if you were “asked,” not certain what the proper court documentation is called, you had to show up or be in contempt? So can Emmert skip out and be arrested and treated in prison like he is treating the players?
Civil trial not criminal
No, no, contempt is available in civil trials too. Problem with Emmert is that he may reside far enough away that the court cannot compel him to personally appear – could still make him do a deposition for use at trial though. This would be the same in a criminal case – I think.
Sensing a recent dramatic change in his master’s layered and complicated persona, Donald Remy’s dog looks for something to bite on.
Civil trial not criminal