Jonathan Vilma and his attorney, Peter Ginsberg, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Daniel Knowles III on Thursday and addressed the timing of discovery in Vilma's defamation of character lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Goodell is contending he has the right to resist a requested deposition until after U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan rules on his motion to dismiss the defamation action. Vilma and Ginsberg contend that neither the law nor justice tolerates any further delay.
Vilma and Ginsberg also contended that Goodell has neither standing nor basis to stop requests for information from former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams or former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo.
Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, meanwhile, is expected to meet Friday with Goodell, according to a league source. Fujita is the last player from the bounty scandal to meet with Goodell after the appeals panel made its decision to lift the suspensions of the four players punished in the Saints' bounty scandal.
When the appeal panel vacated the suspension of players in the Saints bounty case on Sept. 7, Berrigan issued an order saying she would take no action on pending matters "at this time." After that order, Ginsberg began sending out subpoenas demanding documents and depositions related to Vilma's defamation claims. Ginsberg has asked to depose Cerullo on Oct. 9, Williams on Oct. 15 and Goodell on Oct. 23.
Knowles suggested the court will resolve the dispute expeditiously.