Citing a subsection of Article 17 – the portion of the collective-bargaining agreement that deals with collusion cases – the NFL has requested that arbitrator Stephen Burbank provide a summary judgement in the case, sources said.
Here’s what arbitrator in Kaepernick case must decide
The request puts the future of the case in the hands of Burbank, who now must determine whether Kaepernick’s legal team has uncovered sufficient evidence to continue the quarterback’s action against the league. If Burbank rules Kaepernick’s attorneys have found evidence to move toward a hearing, the case will continue, possibly with additional depositions. If he finds that the current discovery evidence is insufficient to advance, he can dismiss the case in favor of the NFL.
In no uncertain terms, the request is the most pivotal moment in the nearly nine months of discovery and depositions between the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and the NFL. With the league’s request for summary judgement, Kaepernick’s legal team will now have to file an argument with discovery or deposition material that supports the case continuing.
According to Article 17 in the CBA, the argument will need to show evidence “sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact capable of satisfying” Kaepernick’s collusion allegation.
Move to involve President Trump could get shut down
It’s unclear what impact Burbank’s decision could have on an attempt by Kaepernick’s legal team to pursue subpoenas of President Donald Trump and/or others in his administration. That push was expected in the coming weeks, but would seemingly be struck down if Burbank halts the collusion case altogether.
At last count, Kaepernick’s legal team gathered 14 depositions, along with a significant amount of electronic discovery, including emails and text messages. Kaepernick’s collusion case is nearing the conclusion of its ninth month, with depositions including commissioner Roger Goodell and multiple NFL team owners and executives, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and New England Patriots’ Robert Kraft.
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