Friday, August 10, 2012
No ruling in Jonathan Vilma case
By Pat Yasinskas
If New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma is going to get out of his season-long suspension from the NFL, it’s not going to happen Friday.
Despite some lengthy and emotional arguments from Vilma’s legal team, U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan said she’s not ready to rule immediately on the NFL’s request to have Vilma’s defamation lawsuit against league commissioner Roger Goodell dismissed or on whether to grant a temporary restraining order on the suspension.
Berrigan seemed sympathetic to some of the arguments made on behalf of Vilma.
“This makes me crazy because I don’t think this was fair,’’ Berrigan said. “But maybe I can’t get to that.’’
One of the big questions is if Berrigan -- or any court -- has jurisdiction over matters that were collectively bargained. The NFL’s claim is that it has the power to issue its own punishments.
Berrigan publicly questioned whether she has the power to do anything before an Aug. 30 arbitrator hearing. She urged the parties to talk, saying a mutual settlement might be faster than her decision.
The bottom line is that nothing firm was accomplished Friday. But it’s pretty obvious Vilma and his attorneys plan to continue to try any option that could wipe out or reduce his suspension.