Personal notes on Aug 10th hearing for New Orleans Saints Jonathan Vilma

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December 26, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) against the Atlanta Falcons during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 45-16. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE


In a hearing today before the U.S. District Court, Judge Ginger Berrigan stated she is inclined to rule in Jonathan Vilma’s favor.  She is unimpressed with the NFL’s process that led to the suspension.  She sees the NFL disciplinary process as neither transparent nor fair.

Vilma was represented personally by Peter Ginsberg (who argued on his behalf) as well as the NFLPA. The NFLPA represented by Jeffrey Kessler argued on behalf of Vilma as well as Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita.  Greg Levy represented the NFL.

Berrigan started the hearing by stating she believed the NFL’s argument a cart off is intent to injure is valid whether hit was legal or not.  Ginsberg countered by stating this was G Williams’ system but Vilma intended no such injury and that Vilma was being punished for specifically placing a bounty on pre-designated players in the 2009 playoffs and not the generally described cart offs.

The RG charged Vilma with a very specific incident.  There is no evidence to suggest and testimony of Vitt and other players denies this took place.

Ginberg states that Article 14 of the CBA, which is Prof Burbank’s jurisdiction, covers any pay for performance or bounty issues.  Not within the RG’s jurisdiction to decide matters under Article 14.

Berrigan states the NFL proceedings were neither transparent or fair especially given the fact that no witnesses were provided and only 200 pages of documents provided much of which was redacted.  She also believes the penalties were too harsh.

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Tags: Greg Levy Jeffrey Kessler Jonathan Vilma Judge Berrigan New Orleans Saints NFL NFLPA Peter Ginsberg Saints Bounty

  • louisianakid1954

    The NFL commissioner may have made the wrong step that might cost him some money are his job. A man like this that think he’s the man with all power to call himself the Judge, Jury, and persecuter. This power went to his head he loss respect for his fellowmens that he eat with and fellowship with but still throw dirt on them. I hope the best for the coaches, General Manger, players, that they can come back to their groups and do they jobs.