Sunday, August 30, 2015

Arab Bank Reaches Settlement in Suit Accusing It of Financing Terrorism

New York Times: 

Arab Bank Reaches Settlement in Suit Accusing It of Financing Terrorism

story link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/15/nyregion/arab-bank-reaches-settlement-in-suit-accusing-it-of-financing-terrorism.html
Three days before a first-of-its-kind damages trial was supposed to start, a Middle Eastern bank has reached a settlement with hundreds of American plaintiffs, including victims of terrorist attacks around Israel, who had filed a lawsuit against the bank accusing it of supporting terrorism.
A spokesman for the bank, Arab Bank, and a spokeswoman for one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs confirmed on Friday that an agreement had been reached but declined to offer additional details, including the amount of the settlement.
Last year, a jury in Federal District Court in Brooklyn found Arab Bank liable for financing terrorism by processing transactions for members of the militant Islamic group Hamas.
First witness, deceased Steve Averbach testifies in a taped  testimony about the bombing of the bus by a suicide bomber, that left him paralyzed  His last line of testimony was" and then he detonated himself"

The second phase of the trial, assessing the damages Arab Bank would have to pay to some victims of attacks by Hamas, was scheduled to start on Monday.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NFL DEFLATEGATE CONTINUED....'Deflategate' judge says Brady suspension in jeopardy




'Deflategate' judge says Brady suspension in jeopardy



AP - Sports
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Brady might have reason to practice more intensely after a federal judge made clear Wednesday that the NFL's four-game suspension of the New England Patriotsquarterback over ''Deflategate'' is in jeopardy.
Judge Richard Berman questioning the NFL attorney Daniel Nash

Berman continued to push for a settlement in the dispute - a potential result he called ''rational and logical.'' But throughout the hearing, he also cited several weaknesses in the way the NFL handled the controversy that could become the basis for handing a victory to Brady and his union.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, who's been asked by NFL Players Association to void the suspension, warned a league lawyer during oral arguments in the scandal over under-inflated footballs that there was precedent for judges to toss out penalties issued by arbitrators.

Jeffery Kessler attorney for the NFL Players Assn.

After the hearing, Berman met behind closed doors with both sides for more than an hour before the lawyers left court, saying the judge asked them not to discuss the negotiations publicly. If there is no deal, the Manhattan judge has said he hopes to rule by Sept. 4, six days before the Patriots host thePittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's season-opening game.
Neither Brady nor NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in court Wednesday. Brady returned to Patriots practice after participating in negotiations along with Goodell and lawyers on both sides a day earlier.
The league announced in May that it was suspending Brady over allegations he conspired with two Patriots equipment employees to deflate footballs below what league rules allow to give him a competitive edge in New England's victory over the Indianapolis Colts in January's AFC championship game. Goodell, who by contract with the players' union can act as an arbitrator for labor disputes, upheld the suspension, touching off the legal battle.
During more than two hours of arguments by attorneys, the judge noted other arbitration decisions have been rejected when a key witness was not allowed to testify as he asked why NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash - who worked on the NFL investigation - could not be questioned by union lawyers during the suspension's appeal.
Arbitration proceedings, while more relaxed than court proceedings, are still required to follow due process rules to ensure fairness, Berman said. He also suggested that the league's finding that Brady was generally aware that game balls were being deflated was too vague, noting that any reference to the Jan. 18 game against the Colts was ''conspicuously absent'' in a report on an NFL investigation that the league used as a basis for the suspension.
Finally, Berman said he could not understand how the commissioner opted to keep a four-game suspension over a fine or a lesser penalty seen in other cases of equipment tampering. In one exchange, he questioned Goodell's defense of the Brady punishment on the grounds that it was comparable to penalties on players caught using performance enhancing drugs.
NFL attorney Daniel Nash answers Judge Berman's questions in court. 

''How is that equal to steroid use?'' he asked of the deflation allegations.
''They both go to the integrity of the game,'' responded NFL lawyer Daniel Nash.
''Well, everything goes to the integrity of the game,'' the judge shot back.
It was the second week in a row the judge seemed to lean harder on the NFL in open court, though he again cautioned that he had not yet made up his mind which side would win.
Another hearing was scheduled for Aug. 31. Both Brady and Goodell have been ordered to attend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

TOM BRADY IN COURT - NFL Deflate-gate

Story from NFL.com
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000509027/article/tom-brady-settlement-conference-ends-in-new-york
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams

Wednesday's settlement conference involving the NFL, NFL Players Association and Tom Brady has concluded in New York after roughly 7.5 hours.
The proceedings included one period open to the public, which was then followed by a session during which the sides remained behind doors while attempting to find common ground on a potential settlement on Brady's four-game suspension.
"We won't be making a formal statement other than to say that we had a productive day in court, and we'll get back to work on the issue. Thank you," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said after the conference.
The public portion of the day opened with pointed questions from New York Federal Court Judge Richard Berman to attorneys for both the NFL and NFLPA.
NFL Attorney Daniel Nash speaking in court with Tom Brady seated left, flanked by his attorneys
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Tom Brady in court, during hearing in Judge Berman's courtroom.

Berman then questioned NFLPA attorney Jeffery Kessler as to why two low-level Patriots employees would act independently and deflate footballs without Brady's knowledge, saying, "He's the one who throws the ball."
Another line of questioning centered on why Brady didn't cooperate with the investigation, to which Kessler admitted Brady could have conducted himself differently with Ted Wells. Kessler said Brady did not cooperate at the time based on the advice of his agent Don Yee, not the NFLPA, which Feldman believes could open the door for a possible settlement if both sides are willing to find the common ground.
"I think the questions were clearly designed to create fear on both sides (they could lose the case)," Feldman said.
Feldman pointed out that Berman asked the NFL questions for roughly 45 minutes, while the judge only asked Brady's side questions for 25 minutes. Feldman said not to read much into that difference.
Prior to Wednesday's settlement conference, Berman also set a potential Aug. 19 date for both parties to meet again and either continue to conference or hear oral arguments.

                                                        Judge Richard Berman presiding