August 16, 2022

Colin Kaepernick’s legal professional lauds Brian Flores lawsuit

For around 16 months, Colin Kaepernick’s legal workforce at Geragos & Geragos went toe to toe with the NFL in a grievance system that stays completely shrouded to this working day. Discovery was executed. Substantial-position depositions had been recorded. Arbitration hearings ended up convened.

Ultimately, it ended in a settlement arrangement in February of 2019. A few years later on, every thing dug up in that method remains eternally locked absent less than a confidentiality arrangement struck amongst the league and Kaepernick.

Handful of disputes far better illustrate why the NFL is expected to look for to transfer a course-motion lawsuit submitted by ex-Miami Dolphins mentor Brian Flores out of the Manhattan federal court docket procedure and into the league’s arbitration approach. Simply because it produces the chance to conceal a potentially terrible authorized struggle at the rear of a firewall of privacy that’s unachievable to penetrate with out someone violating the confidentiality of the process. And ought to the league really feel compelled to settle the dispute as it did in Kaepernick’s case, no matter what transpired within the discovery, deposition and hearing processes can be tucked absent eternally.

Kaepernick’s attorney, Ben Meiselas — who also hosts the rising political podcast “The MeidasTouch” — is aware of this improved than anyone. He played a central function in the quarterback’s collusion case against the league. Considering that that circumstance was settled, he will not (or cannot) talk about the information.

He can, nevertheless, chime in on the Flores lawsuit, specifically the part that painted Kaepernick as a participant “blackballed” by the league. It really is a rather substantial assertion brought to the table by a coach that at one particular position appeared to be in have to have of Kaepernick’s expert services, but never noticed his team make an overture. Flores is also a mentor who must know especially why Miami never showed fascination.

“He devoted two internet pages to speaking about Colin in his formal capacity as a coach, to say that Colin Kaepernick is a beginning quarterback who deserved to be in the league,” Meiselas said. “What I’m intrigued to discover is, what ways did Brian Flores choose within just the Dolphins firm throughout the previous 3 years to convey Kaepernick to the group? Which is an omission that I’m personally noting and it’s a concern I’d want answered.”

Brian Flores has a path to lawful victory vs. the NFL, in accordance to Colin Kaepernick’s attorney. But he have to avoid just one matter to start with and foremost. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune Information Assistance by way of Getty Images)

The Kaepernick problem aside, Meiselas said the Flores litigation has a route to victory versus the NFL. But it comes with a sizeable quantity of hurdles. Main between them: combating off the league’s anticipated try to shift the situation from federal court into a private arena, exactly where the scope of discovery can be radically curbed and arbitrators generally favor the NFL.

“Brian Flores has a good legal team,” Meiselas claimed. “These are professional course-motion attorneys who are struggle-tested, innovative and extremely sharp. They are trial lawyers. I imagine he’s received a great group completely ready, and I think that’s heading to be significant for navigating all the challenges that are going to arise with this circumstance.”

“The initial detail that needs to be navigated is the arbitration provision [in Flores’ coaching contract]. A normal arbitration provision, when you carry a grievance versus the workforce, has the NFL commissioner included in the dispute resolution approach. It is a private tribunal with its have set of procedures. Obtaining about the arbitration clause is heading to be a procedural barrier.”

Apparently, former Cleveland Browns mentor Hue Jackson recently illustrated how private that course of action can be. Though drawing similarities to his firing in Cleveland to Flores’ ouster in Miami, Jackson revealed that he earlier filed a large-ranging fraud grievance towards the Browns following his firing in 2018. For each the very same provision in Flores’ contract — which is believed to be standardized in each individual NFL coaching agreement — Jackson’s dispute was handled inside the league’s personal arbitration technique. An arbitrator ultimately ruled against Jackson’s promises.

But what is putting is that prior to this thirty day period, incredibly several in the league had been aware that Jackson had even submitted a fraud grievance. Without a doubt, even some senior-amount staff members inside of the Browns firm weren’t informed of it until eventually now. And even right now, the unique allegations and aspects of how the judgment was attained continue being concealed by the personal nature of the league’s arbitration procedure.

Colin Kaepernick and his attorney Ben Meiselas know all about fighting legal battles against the NFL. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Colin Kaepernick and his lawyer Ben Meiselas know all about preventing legal battles in opposition to the NFL. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

That style of outcome, not only dropping an arbitration scenario but also getting the procedure and information shielded from general public check out, is component of why Meiselas sees arbitration avoidance as the very first legal mountain for Flores to climb.

“It’s just one of the explanations I think it was planned as a class-motion match,” Meiselas stated. “Because the class action can consider to get all-around an arbitration arrangement, essentially by indicating, ‘Brian Flores isn’t topic to unique work disputes. He’s serving as a class representative of likewise located coaches experiencing systemic discriminatory perform that is exterior the bounds of an unique employment contract.’ There are also a number of other arguments you could make as very well.”

One matter Meiselas manufactured clear: This is probably to be a prolonged and drawn-out authorized motion, with a sizeable amount of twists and turns. Such as various assaults by the NFL to win an outright dismissal in advance of it is all more than. The journey could lead to any variety of results, from Flores’ litigation finding bounced out of federal court docket and into the league’s arbitration method, to the NFL being taken to a jury trial in federal court — or the two get-togethers conference in the center and hanging a settlement at any supplied juncture.

But no matter what the outcome is, Meiselas stated something has by now been attained by Flores where by it concerns the general public highlight and force on the NFL.

“The grievance was an very effective, powerful lawful doc and narrative that has now achieved a wonderful deal of achievements,” he reported. “It has already moved the discussion about the using the services of practices involving Black coaches to the forefront. It has built it an simple subject matter and has shed an critical spotlight on it. A lot has currently been realized in a limited component of time.”