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Indemnification?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by E Belichick Unum, Feb 21, 2008.

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  1. E Belichick Unum

    E Belichick Unum On the Game Day Roster

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    I have a serious question for you guys out there.
    Assuming that the Patriots have a legal document to use against Matt Walsh, and that Matt Walsh not only violates that document but also provides stolen Patriots property as evidence, how can the NFL indemnify him against legal procedings? This becomes a contractual/legal matter and the NFL, for as powerful as they are, cannot invalidate the Patriots rights.

    Anybody know how this works?
     
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    The only explanation I've read here is that it just means the NFL will defend (pay for) his defense in any legal matters. Clearly the NFL has no legal standing to prevent a civil or criminal case against him.
     
  3. nittanylions52

    nittanylions52 Banned

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    I have no idea how it works legally, but IF the Patriots happened to break league rules, that would probably override any signed paper by Walsh. Of course, he'd have to have proof that the Pats broke the rules.

    If you think of any other analogous situation, it makes sense. Breaking league rules is more important to the NFL offices than any employment paper Walsh happened to sign.

    Then again, I'm not sure how it would work if say, the NFL granted him indemnity and he turned out to be lying. I could imagine the repercussions would be very bad for Walsh.
     
  4. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Not sure that is the case...or ever COULD be the case. What you are saying is that company rules are more important than the Federal, State laws..Employment papers deal with REAL law...not just the rules of a company..It may NOT be important to the NFL...but they can not over ride laws by what they do...teh do NOT have that power..That is like a company saying the laws of a state would not apply. Can not happen. the NFL can PAY for those defenses...but can not override the laws.
     
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    The NFL simply has to pay the $$ if he loses a court case brought on by the Patriots. In other words, the Patriots wouldn't sue unless they went to war with Goodell and the NFL (which won't happen, but it could, small chance).
     
  6. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    I'd like to add this isn't really an issue of idemnification. Something else is up. I don't know what.

    He wants to have his legal fees taken care of in case he goes to court. His lawyer is already being paid by someone else. Let his lawyer vouch for the legal fees.
     
  7. nittanylions52

    nittanylions52 Banned

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    OK, I was probably wrong. Like I said, I don't know anything about the legal side of it.

    I just don't see why he'd risk incurring the wrath of the NFL if he 1) can't prove anything or 2) is lying. In either situation, the NFL sure won't befriend him, and the Pats would tear into him very quickly.
     
  8. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    My understanding is this:

    Matt Walsh wanted any judgements, settlements, and/or fees to be paid for by the NFL. Basically he wanted the NFL to "pay his bills" so to speak.

    As far as legal matters go, the NFL can afford him no protection from serving jail time.

    Basically it protects him if he loses a civil suit.
     
  9. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #24 Jersey

    How could any of this end up in jail time?
     
  10. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    As of now all that he "likely" has is stolen property - the tape (if it exists). That wouldn't be enough for jail time but if there is other stolen property of the Patriots that could change. There is no indication that is the case but it's just being pointed out that the NFL can't protect him legally if there is.
     
  11. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly. His lawyer would like the indemnity to extend to any statements he makes that can be contested as untruthful (i.e. the league would cover his costs to defend himself in a civil suit or criminal proceedings (perjury charges, fraud, etc) resulting from anyting he says or provides). The Patriots have apparently aggreed to cooperate with the league to the extent they are willing to waive their rights provided he tells the truth, but not if ITO he can be proven to have not.

    This isn't about who can sue him or charge him, just who picks up the tab to defend him if someone does. The league says they will if he is truthful and he turns over, and stipulates he has, anything/everything in his possession that is the work property of the Patriots. He apparently isn't entirely sure he can prove anything he wants to say is true, or somebody won't be able to disprove it, so he wants to be indemnified to say things based on his "belief" the things he plans to say are the truth...and he may want to retain something he had for future use, say in a book deal.

    That's just not gonna happen. Some in the media like Felger are bloviating that he should be allowed to say whatever he wants and the team should be willing to allow him to with the option to simply provide their own evidence or testimony to the contrary to the court of public opinion after the fact to correct any mis-perception. Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

    BTW according to Florio on Felger's show the other day, Walsh's DC lawyer is handling matters to date pro bono, either as a favor to whomever hooked them up or just for the free advertising of his name and firm this is generating. He's a big time white collar crime defense lawyer.
     
  12. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I'm not sure that it could. I was just saying what I understand about the matter.
     
  13. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It could if he lied under oath, not sure what the statute of limitations is on his theft of property and wiretapping antics. But the key is, good representation gets you off in civil and criminal cases...so he wants that to be paid for/provided too just in case.
     
  14. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    Do you really think Goodell would offer up an agreement for Walsh that Kraft hadn't seen and agreed to? Goodell is a representative of the owners, not the head of an entity policing them (as many seem to believe).

    I doubt Walsh has anything substantive to offer. If he did have something damaging (Rams walkthrough or similar) and could pin it to Belichick, I think Belichick would immediately be fired by Kraft and suspended by the league (in case someone hired him). Again, this would be Goodell and Kraft working together to come to a resolution to the issue that would allow the Patriots and the league to move forward.

    Look back at this whole affair and you will likely see a cooperative effort by Kraft and Goodell, balancing the integrity of the league and the effects on the Pats:

    1) Loss of 1st round pick as punishment? After some convincing, Kraft probably agreed that a lesser punishment would be seen as weak, given the 2 1st round picks and probable late drafting position. Doesn't make it fair, but it is what it is.

    2) Examination and destruction of evidence in Foxboro? I doubt Kraft would let any of his property out of his control after seeing his seized property broadcast on Fox. The reason why Goodell's explanation of the handling of evidence seems contrived is because it is. Kraft dictated the terms and Goodell followed them. Goodell could never admit that without getting destroyed by the media and Congress.

    3) Not interviewing Walsh? Again, Kraft didn't want the NFL investigators anywhere near a rogue former employee with an ax to grind.

    Probably more examples but you get the point. Kraft has been protecting his interests all along and doing it in a way to keep the league united...and letting his buddy Roger keep the bad cop image that is actually a benefit when dealing with folks like Specter. Kraft deserves a pat on the back. He certainly doesn't deserve accusations that he is bending over and taking it willing from Goodell (not saying you were doing this, EBU).
     
  15. sieglo

    sieglo In the Starting Line-Up

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    Real simple.

    Walsh breaks the terms of his confidentiality agreement. Causes damage to the Pats organization (doesn't even matter if the Pats broke any NFL rules).

    Pats sue Walsh for breach. Court awards Pats damages. Walsh is individually on the hook to pay.

    NFL pays damages to Pats on behalf of Walsh.
     
  16. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    He won't be talking to Goodell under oath.
     
  17. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

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    Let's say Walsh has tapes of the Rams' walk-through. Either...

    (a) He was told to do that, in which case the tapes are the property of the New England Patriots, and he stole them. Thus, he is a thief and (I guess) could be taken to court for that. (is it a criminal or civil case?)

    or

    (b) He wasn't told to do that, but did it on his own, in which case Belichick is telling the truth that the Patriots did not engage in that. Thus, the Pats would be off the hook.

    Either way, Walsh comes off like a complete loser. In (a) he's a thief; in (b) he's a slimy bastard.
     
  18. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I agree. One of the conspiracy theories I've been batting around in my mind is that he wanted his 15 minutes of fame, so he exaggerated just a wee bit to the media, and things spiralled out of his control.

    So my theory is simply that he doesn't have anything but he doesn't want to look like a fool after pretending that he did, so he is finding an excuse not to testify. Now I ain't saying I believe my own theory, but perhaps it's something to consider...
     
  19. Lichtenstein

    Lichtenstein Rookie

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    If the suit brought by the unknown Rams player gets to court and Walsh is called to testify, he will do so under oath. If he lies, it's perjury, which in this country is a felony. Perjury cost bill clinton $800K.
     
  20. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    i think he wants to be protected from legal bills and civil judgments should his contract with the patriots allow the patriots to sue him after he talks. i've never seen an employment contract drawn up by the patriots, but i imagine it contains very stringent language regarding confidentiality and the return of materials that could in any way be construed as proprietary or the property of the patriots.

    this is, in turn, quite dicey for the nfl since, in the very worst case, should Walsh actually have a copy of a tape of the Rams Walkthrough (which I can't imagine in a million years that he does), then the value of the patriots franchise, which is over $1billion, could arguably take a hit. even a 10% hit would be $100,000,000, which Kraft could then seek to recover, should he decide to sell the team, not from Matt Walsh who probably doesn't have two dimes to rub together, but from Walsh's guarantor, the National Football League and its member franchises. :)


    there's nothing the league can or would do to protect him from the costs or consequences of criminal proceedings, though, should he do something that gets state or federal authorities involved.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
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