Cornwell: No conflict of interest

Updated: November 21, 2013, 3:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Attorney David Cornwell, who is representing Jonathan Martin in his bullying case, denied there is a conflict of interest in him having the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman as a client even though he is also the executive director of the NFL Coaches Association.

"This concern was addressed in the earliest stages of my involvement in this matter," Cornwell told ESPN in a statement.

"Although I do not serve as a lawyer in my capacity as the executive director of the NFLCA, as soon as it appeared that coaches' interests could be implicated in this matter, I worked with members of our executive committee to develop a sensible process to ensure that no coaches' interests would be compromised by my representation of Jonathan as his lawyer. Both the executive committee and Jonathan are comfortable with the arrangement."

Martin alleges he was harassed daily by teammates, including fellow lineman Richie Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins. Concerns about a conflict of interest arose because it's possible members of Miami's coaching staff could be implicated as promoting an environment that encouraged abuse.

Incognito has filed a grievance over his suspension and the hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday, although the Dolphins have requested to delay the proceedings, sources told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen earlier this week.

Ted Wells, the NFL's independent investigator, is in South Florida this week interviewing Dolphins players and coaches. He met with Martin for seven hours in New York last Friday. 

Wells has said he will make the findings of his investigation public when it is completed.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has said he plans to meet with Martin to discuss his concerns. The team planned to meet with Martin on Oct. 13 but the meeting was delayed at the league's request.

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