Showing posts from May, 2016

NFL concussion settlement: Who wins, who loses

Image by Artamp Though a court recently found no “obvious” red flags in the proposed concussion settlement between the NFL and thousands of ex-players, the settlement is fundamentally unfair. [1] True, it’s generally easy to accuse class action settlements of unfairness. [2] But the proposed NFL settlement—even in its current mutation—merits a double-helping of criticism. [3] The settlement gives only some players a fair shake while others get the shaft. All the while, the NFL wins big. Concussion Settlement Basics: The NFL’s Victory The settlement’s basic terms are easy enough to understand: All 20,000-plus retired NFL football players, except those who opted out, will forever forfeit rights to sue the NFL for health problems related to head trauma. [4] In return, each ex-player can receive limited compensation for only specific health problems related to head trauma. [5]   Though ex-players don’t have to do anything to prove the NFL actually is to blame for their

Defense of the jury system

Lady Justice and a jury             Juries are not perfect, but if I were on trial, I would rather have a group of biased strangers, who must reach a unanimous decision (at least in federal court) within the bounds set by a judicial referee, ultimately decide my fate than have one judicial referee call all the shots. Juries are not as unpredictable as the news media often make them seem. According to a survey of 30 years of jury studies, “the jury system is healthy.” [1] "Quite a bit of their decision is determined by the case that the lawyers present to them. . . . [W]hat seems like a wild card, in fact, follows rules. The strength of the evidence in the case will give you a good sense about what a jury is going to do." [2] Juries take parties’ fates out of the hands of just one human judge. “The strength of the jury is a diversity in decision making, which makes for a very robust process.” [3] Additionally, juries serve “many purposes and functions that go bey