March 2017

NFL Common Benefit Fees vs Individual Case Fees

As the NFL case progresses, we regularly receive questions from retired players and their families about how lawyers in the case are being paid.  There has been a lot of confusion.


Sometimes the confusion stems directly from the Concussion Settlement website, which states that lawyers shall be paid by the NFL fund for COMMON BENEFIT FEES, none of which have been awarded.  Strangely, the website never mentions Contracts (that is, the retention agreements).  Other times, the confusion is created by lawyers new to the case or other people without experience in Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”), and they have come to a conclusion that is not well-informed.

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Defendant Waived Right to Arbitration

Last week the New Jersey Supreme Court decided the case of Roach v. BM Motoring LLC, which Andrew Bell of the Locks Law Firm argued on behalf of amicus curiae The Consumers League of New Jersey (Andrew Bell, James Barry, and Michael Galpern on the brief).

Roach involved a consumer case arising out of fraud in the sale of two automobiles (one to each named plaintiff).  The contract for sale for both vehicles contained an arbitration clause which provided for the arbitration of “any and all claims, disputes or issues” and specified that the arbitration would be in accordance with the rules of the AAA and before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge or attorney.  Plaintiffs filed arbitration claims with the AAA against the dealer.  The Dealer failed to pay the required arbitration fees in either case or otherwise respond, and the AAA declined to administer the claims due to the non-payment.  Plaintiffs then filed a joint complaint in the Law Division, and Defendant filed a motion to dismiss in favor of arbitration.  Defendants argued that the AAA was not an appropriate forum for the arbitration due to its excessive fees, and therefore the Plaintiffs’ demands for arbitration didn’t comport with the arbitration agreement.

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Science and Medical Research Big Losers In Trump Proposed Budget

Yesterday the Trump led Republican administration released its "Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again" which, in the words of Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was crafted in part by looking at Trump’s speeches and media interviews.  Mulvaney said “You’ll see reductions exactly where you would expect it from a president who just ran on an ‘America First’ campaign.  If he said it on the campaign, it’s in the budget.”

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NFL Updated Regarding the 5% Holdback Notice

This past Monday, all former NFL players received a notice from the court regarding the opportunity to object to the petition for Attorneys’ fees, costs and holdbacks on awards.  We wanted to make sure that clients of Locks Law Firm knew that this 5% holdback (“…to provide future common benefit fees for attorneys who do work to facilitate the Settlement…”) is NOT in addition to the retainer fees.  As you should know, our retainer agreement with you is 20%.  The 5% would come out of the 20% already allocated in the retainer agreement.  In essence, if the court approves this fee, it means Locks Law Firm will get less money, not you.

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