2019 AB Watch: Legal & Exemption List Posts Only

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SeoulSoxFan

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This thread may be as short-lived as AB's Patriots career.

Until then, let's discuss legal, non-football developments, views, and opinions here.
 

Marciano490

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I’ll move this over here:


I’m confused. The lawyer cites a text message then attaches two emails. The emails also seem to reference threats from the accuser to tell his team and to tell Brown’s baby momma. So, for whatever it’s worth - and I’m not saying it’s worth anything - she appears to have not gone to the police but gone or threatened to go to his team and the mother of his kid(s).

She also cites to his chef, so I’d be interested in what (s)he says.
 

BornToRun

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I’ll move this over here:


I’m confused. The lawyer cites a text message then attaches two emails. The emails also seem to reference threats from the accuser to tell his team and to tell Brown’s baby momma. So, for whatever it’s worth - and I’m not saying it’s worth anything - she appears to have not gone to the police but gone or threatened to go to his team and the mother of his kid(s).

She also cites to his chef, so I’d be interested in what (s)he says.
To me, the emails kind of read as “You really think this is going work?” I could certainly be wrong of course. Just how it looks to my eyes.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I’ll move this over here:


I’m confused. The lawyer cites a text message then attaches two emails. The emails also seem to reference threats from the accuser to tell his team and to tell Brown’s baby momma. So, for whatever it’s worth - and I’m not saying it’s worth anything - she appears to have not gone to the police but gone or threatened to go to his team and the mother of his kid(s).

She also cites to his chef, so I’d be interested in what (s)he says.
Wouldn't chef-diner privilege prevent them from speaking?
 

Marciano490

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To me, the emails kind of read as “You really think this is going work?” I could certainly be wrong of course. Just how it looks to my eyes.
He’s definitely trying to dissuade her and give her the “nobody is going to believe you” hook. I’m just parsing out the implications that she threatened to go to his team and his paramour, and apparently not the police. Again, not to draw conclusions, just to gather facts.
 

Marciano490

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Wouldn't chef-diner privilege prevent them from speaking?
Bad jokes in a thread about a rape accusation aside, I’d assume if they’re citing to the chef, they’re doing so after calling to check on his/her recollection and willingness to speak up.

Of course, witnesses often get flaky when it’s time to actually get on the stand or before the press.
 

Shelterdog

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Bad jokes in a thread about a rape accusation aside, I’d assume if they’re citing to the chef, they’re doing so after calling to check on his/her recollection and willingness to speak up.

Of course, witnesses often get flaky when it’s time to actually get on the stand or before the press.
A good lawyer would. The world is full of not very good lawyers.

Also the joke wasn't that bad and it's certainly not a joke about rape.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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So, thoughts on the timing here? Yesterday, of all days, is the day this gets filed? Obviously it didn’t spring up overnight but it feels a bit like an attempt to take advantage of him being in the news and force him into a settlement.
 

Rice14

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I know a guy who played with AB in college. He also knew the accuser through a friend of his who had dated her. He has not been in contact with AB for years, and has been pretty critical of him, so he's not simply a friend. For what it's worth, he told me a couple of things. First, that the accuser has been trying to get a settlement from AB for about the last six months, so this is not exactly out of the blue. He said that among his circle of people from college, many knew about this. Second, he told me that the girl had a reputation for chasing money, my friend didn't think too highly of her, but to be fair, that goes back to when he knew her a decade ago.
 
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The chance that the Patriots release Brown right now for this accusation seem slim to none IMO. Belichick seems to let off the field issues handle themselves like he did with Josh Gordon. Bill seems more interested in what the player does or doesn’t do for the team.
 

HomeBrew1901

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Thanks for your perspective on this TSC, and I'm sorry that you ever had to go through something like this. Your post mirrors my thoughts exactly. In fact, I think it strengthens a civil suit if it first starts as criminal, there isn't enough evidence to pursue, and then it goes to civil where there is a lower bar to reach. The fact that this went right to a civil suit sure has the appearance of someone looking to make money off of this as their primary focus, not justice.
I have no love for AB and I'm not a Patriot's Conspiracy theorist that believes "The League Is Against US" but... I have to question the timing of this lawsuit and that she went the lawsuit root. Unless of course, she tried to go the criminal route first and the proof wasn't there for the DA to take the case and this was her last form of recourse.

Take the 9M hit and put him on the exempt list.
 

DrewDawg

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I have no love for AB and I'm not a Patriot's Conspiracy theorist that believes "The League Is Against US" but... I have to question the timing of this lawsuit and that she went the lawsuit root. Unless of course, she tried to go the criminal route first and the proof wasn't there for the DA to take the case and this was her last form of recourse.

Take the 9M hit and put him on the exempt list.
The issue with that is that the NFL investigation could take a year--it did with Zeke. Since he's only under a 1 year contract, I would think they'd just cut him. That they didn't makes me think that he's playing. Same as Chung (yes I know that's much different from rape).
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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The chance that the Patriots release Brown right now for this accusation seem slim to none IMO. Belichick seems to let off the field issues handle themselves like he did with Josh Gordon. Bill seems more interested in what the player does or doesn’t do for the team.
Yup.

The Patriots security/police/whatever their called staff seem to be ahead of the 8-ball on this kind of stuff. If I recall, Hernandez was released before any credible claims even came out because the Patriots were clearly in the know. I'd assume they heard about this, did their research, and will be letting this thing play out like they tend to do.

And if they cut him, its because he deserves it.

Either way, I'll be waiting to see how the evidence shakes out, which I think the Patriots will do as well.
 

lexrageorge

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Yup.

The Patriots security/police/whatever their called staff seem to be ahead of the 8-ball on this kind of stuff. If I recall, Hernandez was released before any credible claims even came out because the Patriots were clearly in the know. I'd assume they heard about this, did their research, and will be letting this thing play out like they tend to do.

And if they cut him, its because he deserves it.

Either way, I'll be waiting to see how the evidence shakes out, which I think the Patriots will do as well.
Hernandez was arrested before the Pats cut him. I believe the timeline was only hours after, but the arrest happened first.
 

dcmissle

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The issue with that is that the NFL investigation could take a year--it did with Zeke. Since he's only under a 1 year contract, I would think they'd just cut him. That they didn't makes me think that he's playing. Same as Chung (yes I know that's much different from rape).
The model here would be the rough justice they cut with Roethlisberger. Six game suspension reduced to four. That would follow a quick and dirty “investigation” while he is on the Exempt list.

That’s the only way this gets resolved this season.
 

moondog80

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Question for the lawyers -- it's possible that he's been extorted/blackmailed AND he really did this, right? If so, does the former mean he can't be prosecuted for the latter? Or at least make it more challenging?
 

dcmissle

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Question for the lawyers -- it's possible that he's been extorted/blackmailed AND he really did this, right? If so, does the former mean he can't be prosecuted for the latter? Or at least make it more challenging?
He is not going to be prosecuted. The incident happened 18 months ago. There is no forensic evidence in a classic he-said/she-said situation. She renewed acquaintances with him after the alleged initial assaults. Supposedly leveraged him on social media after the rape.

So the logical answer to your question is there is no obstacle. But his indictment is extremely unlikely.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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The model here would be the rough justice they cut with Roethlisberger. Six game suspension reduced to four. That would follow a quick and dirty “investigation” while he is on the Exempt list.

That’s the only way this gets resolved this season.
The Roethlisberger case is interesting because before that rough justice, which occurred on the heels of the 2010 Georgia sexual assault investigation, there was another sexual assault allegation that led to a civil suit and the league did not place him on the exempt list or suspend him pending an investigation.

I see three possibilities for the league:

1. Place AB on the exempt list, conduct a bullshit "investigation" (which will be a joke since neither side will cooperate while the civil suit is pending and also because there has been no fact finding by authorities to build upon), then probably some kind of suspension. This sets a pretty bad precedent about placing players on the exempt list purely based on pending civil litigation. It also will eventually put the league in a bad position of trying to adjudicate based on their own "investigation" even when the civil lawsuit is likely still pending, and could turn up who knows what. But I could see the league office liking this option from a short term PR perspective and they seem to make decisions based on such considerations so it wouldn't shock me.

2. Do everything in #1 except let AB practice and play while the "investigation" continues. I think this is probably the right approach in the abstract. If they went down this road, its more tenable later to announce that the investigation was inconclusive and that the league would wait for the resolution of the civil lawsuit to make a determination about penalizing Brown.

3. Suspend Brown immediately for 4-8 games, based on the Roethlisberger rough justice notion, while noting that further league action might be possible based on what the civil lawsuit turns up. This also seems like a bad precedent as you're levying a big suspension without any investigation by anyone - the league, the authorities, etc. With Roethlisberger, the rough justice was cut after the Georgia DA had investigated and basically announced that while they couldn't proceed with the case (in part due to the accuser deciding that she didn't want to go through the ordeal of a trial), there was a legit case there. I think the NFLPA would probably go ballistic if the league went this route.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Question for the lawyers -- it's possible that he's been extorted/blackmailed AND he really did this, right? If so, does the former mean he can't be prosecuted for the latter?
Yes, it could be both! And both could be criminally prosecuted.

No idea on the odds though—the facts seem a little weak but it’s early.
 

joe dokes

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Question for the lawyers -- it's possible that he's been extorted/blackmailed AND he really did this, right? If so, does the former mean he can't be prosecuted for the latter? Or at least make it more challenging?
Strictly speaking, it does not preclude criminal prosecution. In fact, unless the local police/ prosecutors already saw this and decided not to prosecute, they're probably looking into it today. After all, it is a public anouncement of an assault. And yes, more challenging, for all the reasons you can imagine.
 

Vinho Tinto

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The model here would be the rough justice they cut with Roethlisberger. Six game suspension reduced to four. That would follow a quick and dirty “investigation” while he is on the Exempt list.

That’s the only way this gets resolved this season.
One part of this equation that you did not include was Roethlisbeeger meeting with Goodell and happily kissing his ring. After that meeting, he went about fulfilling whatever vague requirements Goodell put on him to reduce the suspension. That was some time ago and the entire process has changed following Ray Rice.

Time will tell if AB would be willing to do anything to make the NFL happy.
 

RedOctober3829

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I wondered about the exempt list last night but thought about it more. How can they tell a player they can't do their job over a civil complaint? I can see if it was a criminal process big enough to do that like Greg Hardy, but for this? This would set a pretty bad precedent.
 

joe dokes

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Obviously speculating, but a reasonable scenario for why no cops......"professional athlete......authorities (cops/prosecutors/judges) routinely short-shrift victims (brock turner, etc).....they dont even have to charge the guy.........in a civil case the decision to go forward is MINE"

I dont know the backlog of S.D Fla., but civil cases take a much longer time to get to a trial than criminal issues. (Although the criminal case would be in state court, it would still be faster.) Sidelining him while the civil proceedings go forward is probably not a tenable approach.
 

RedOctober3829

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Obviously speculating, but a reasonable scenario for why no cops......"professional athlete......authorities (cops/prosecutors/judges) routinely short-shrift victims (brock turner, etc).....they dont even have to charge the guy.........in a civil case the decision to go forward is MINE"

I dont know the backlog of S.D Fla., but civil cases take a much longer time to get to a trial than criminal issues. (Although the criminal case would be in state court, it would still be faster.) Sidelining him while the civil proceedings go forward is probably not a tenable approach.
There's also a lower burden of proof in a civil case vs. a criminal case. Also doesn't have to be a unanimous vote from the jury to award a monetary settlement.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Is there anything that can keep Kraft from helping AB's case by providing additional legal firepower?
 

joe dokes

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There's also a lower burden of proof in a civil case vs. a criminal case. Also doesn't have to be a unanimous vote from the jury to award a monetary settlement.
No doubt its "easier" to win. I was focusing on the idea that not going to the police -- and taking the "easier" civil route -- was significant proof that the motive here is solely a shakedown. To the contrary, I think there is, unfortunately, a litany of high profile evidence that might dissuade a victim from doing so. (I understand that anecdotes are not data, but most victims are much more familiar with the former than the latter).
 

joe dokes

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Is there anything that can keep Kraft from helping AB's case by providing additional legal firepower?
Nothing at all. FWIW -- even if Kraft is paying the bills, the lawyer's owe all their duties to AB, not Kraft. So if, for example, Brown starts saying bad stuff about Kraft in conection with his defense, the lawyers can't go tell Kraft; nor could Kraft sit in on meetings (at least not without wrecking the attorney-client privilege).
 

lexrageorge

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One part of this equation that you did not include was Roethlisbeeger meeting with Goodell and happily kissing his ring. After that meeting, he went about fulfilling whatever vague requirements Goodell put on him to reduce the suspension. That was some time ago and the entire process has changed following Ray Rice.

Time will tell if AB would be willing to do anything to make the NFL happy.
It was also the second time Roethlisberger had been accused of sexual assault, and the investigation that triggered the suspension was criminal in nature. The entire incident happened during the offseason, and so the NFL had the luxury of waiting until the DA's office dropped the case before making their decision.

I doubt the NFL will be able to do anything during this season, unless enough facts come out that would allow people to conclude that a rape likely happened. The NFLPA would have a good case to fight any placement on the exempt list, especially given the incentives in AB's contract.
 

Gash Prex

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I'll reiterate my position - civil complaints are written with persuasion and spinning the allegations in your clients favor. This is different than your typical criminal complaint/PC/grand jury indictment because the allegations do not have to be based in fact, simply good faith belief. Allegations in civil complaints are usually salacious and crafted carefully for maximum reaction (especially in high profile cases) - and sometimes go well beyond the breaking point of reasonable inferences.

I represent people on both sides of civil matters, including employers and employees in sexual harassment matters and I would find any action to be taken as a result of a civil complaint to be beyond the pail. Its incredibly unfair to allow a civil complaint to be the basis for anything other than "we'll see when the facts come out " - the emails etc... included in this are certainly not flattering, but certainly are not admissions of anything beyond "we had sex" If you think this is bad, just read some of the petitions for divorce that get filed in your local courts. Should employers now use unverified petitions for divorce as a basis for terminating employees? Just look at the Neymar case.

This was dropped now because of all the media attention on Brown with the hope of settling quickly (this is not a comment on the merits, just simply an opportunity to try to gain leverage). I frankly don't see how a settlement is possible now given the "if settles, he was guilty" belief. The fact there was no criminal complaint ever filed is certainly not a good fact for the Plaintiff IMO.

I would be concerned about the quality of Brown's legal representation though if his lawyer really doesn't have substantial experience in these matters, especially a high profile one.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Nothing at all. FWIW -- even if Kraft is paying the bills, the lawyer's owe all their duties to AB, not Kraft. So if, for example, Brown starts saying bad stuff about Kraft in conection with his defense, the lawyers can't go tell Kraft; nor could Kraft sit in on meetings (at least not without wrecking the attorney-client privilege).
I posted about this last night. That my perception is that lawyers with a civil sexual assault case will typically advise their clients to make a police report. Even if it is late and has no chance. It is very hard to deal with not doing so in a cross examination context because you are susceptible to a claim that this must be a money grab and that you don’t believe he is a danger to other women. Even worse it can lead to an inference that you have something to hide or are worried about potential penalties for being untruthful to the police.

Let the police tell you you waited too long or that there is no physical evidence or whatever they say. You can say you tried and then tell a story why the crime was so heinous that you couldn’t bring yourself to report immediately.

I am not here trying to speculate on what this all means in this case about her believability and she may have a very good story for not doing or she may even have done it. I am just giving my two cents on what I understand to be the legal strategy commonly used.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I'll reiterate my position - civil complaints are written with persuasion and spinning the allegations in your clients favor. This is different than your typical criminal complaint/PC/grand jury indictment because the allegations do not have to be based in fact, simply good faith belief. Allegations in civil complaints are usually salacious and crafted carefully for maximum reaction (especially in high profile cases) - and sometimes go well beyond the breaking point of reasonable inferences.

I represent people on both sides of civil matters, including employers and employees in sexual harassment matters and I would find any action to be taken as a result of a civil complaint to be beyond the pail. Its incredibly unfair to allow a civil complaint to be the basis for anything other than "we'll see when the facts come out " - the emails etc... included in this are certainly not flattering, but certainly are not admissions of anything beyond "we had sex" If you think this is bad, just read some of the petitions for divorce that get filed in your local courts. Should employers now use unverified petitions for divorce as a basis for terminating employees? Just look at the Neymar case.

This was dropped now because of all the media attention on Brown with the hope of settling quickly (this is not a comment on the merits, just simply an opportunity to try to gain leverage). I frankly don't see how a settlement is possible now given the "if settles, he was guilty" belief. The fact there was no criminal complaint ever filed is certainly not a good fact for the Plaintiff IMO.

I would be concerned about the quality of Brown's legal representation though if his lawyer really doesn't have substantial experience in these matters, especially a high profile one.
I agree with much of this but there are a lot of wrinkles involved in the bolded part and it's not a one size fits all. Sometimes, if your client wants to settle, the last thing you want to do is write a complaint that is sensational, because you put a defendant in a position where he or she has little choice but to defend themselves and try to outspend you (if there is a resources difference).

To me, this complaint doesn't read like a quick settlement attempt. It actually seems like the opposite. There is some sensationalism in there to be sure, but much of the complaint is dedicated to trying to explain what might be perceived of as weaknesses in the narrative. This seems like a plaintiff who actually is expecting to be in things for the long haul and wants to pull the sting of what she knows is coming.

There is a story about the timing. We may never know what it is. But I don't think these guys are hacks. Someting is forcing their hand and they did the best they could with the case they have at this point in time.
 

bakahump

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Isnt that part of a good lawyers job? Or even a mediocre one? (or an agent?)
"Yeahhhh.....I am not an expert in this. So lets bring in Jarvis, Green and Ellis".

Not like they will get fired and lose the relationship. Mediocre Lawyer dude can still handle Baby Momma complaints and Speeding tickets.

Its not like me or you who says we cant afford a second specialized set of attorneys so lets rule with Guy in the Strip mall.
 

joe dokes

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I posted about this last night. That my perception is that lawyers with a civil sexual assault case will typically advise their clients to make a police report. Even if it is late and has no chance. It is very hard to deal with not doing so in a cross examination context because you are susceptible to a claim that this must be a money grab and that you don’t believe he is a danger to other women. Even worse it can lead to an inference that you have something to hide or are worried about potential penalties for being untruthful to the police.

Let the police tell you you waited too long or that there is no physical evidence or whatever they say. You can say you tried and then tell a story why the crime was so heinous that you couldn’t bring yourself to report immediately.

I am not here trying to speculate on what this all means in this case about her believability and she may have a very good story for not doing or she may even have done it. I am just giving my two cents on what I understand to be the legal strategy commonly used.
All good points.
 

DrewDawg

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This is a tough one. On the one hand, I don't think a player should be put on the exempt list based off one civil suit accusation. On the other hand, if AB plays this weekend, the optics could be terrible for the league and the team. The Patriots might not care as much, they don't seem to let that noise bother them. For the league though, I'm picturing AB romping into the end zone, celebrating his TD, and then every media organization running a story about a player accused of rape, celebrating in the end zone five days later as though nothing happened.
Not much different than when Tyreek Hill scores. Or Zeke Elliot.
 

bsj

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IMO Brown needs to figure out a way to settle.
Cat is out of the bag. He's not getting the reputation damage undone no matter what. And yes, it reeks of "guilty" but it isnt. A settlement with a committment not to cooperate with the NFL is his best play and his best chance to make this go away, at least mechanically.
 

djbayko

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IMO Brown needs to figure out a way to settle.
Cat is out of the bag. He's not getting the reputation damage undone no matter what. And yes, it reeks of "guilty" but it isnt. A settlement with a committment not to cooperate with the NFL is his best play and his best chance to make this go away, at least mechanically.
Doesn’t it all depend on what he has on her? In a scenario where she was “extorting” him for money - even if he is guilty - he very well could end up clearing his name, or at least discrediting her in the eyes of the public.
 

nattysez

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To expand slightly on GashPrex's post, someone was saying last night how Rule 11 precluded the atty from filing this without being really sure these were good claims. Let me assure you that that is deeply untrue. Getting in any kind of professional trouble via Rule 11 is incredibly hard. Further, Rule 11 does not preclude an attorney from presenting facts in the best possible light, and even arguably pushing the truth more than a little. That's not the way it should be, but it's the way it is.

I will say: this feels like a really complex relationship where Brown assaulted her in some form (let's assume, best case, that he ejaculated on her back as a "joke"), she left him, then she came back to him in hopes of getting something - a relationship, money, game, whatever - and now is unhappy with how that turned out.

So what do you do when the victim suffered an actual assault, but upon reflection decided to keep working with the accused, but then thought better of it? I think Brown may be in real trouble civilly, but this would be an extremely difficult case to win criminally.
 

joe dokes

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To expand slightly on GashPrex's post, someone was saying last night how Rule 11 precluded the atty from filing this without being really sure these were good claims. Let me assure you that that is deeply untrue. Getting in any kind of professional trouble via Rule 11 is incredibly hard. Further, Rule 11 does not preclude an attorney from presenting facts in the best possible light, and even arguably pushing the truth more than a little. That's not the way it should be, but it's the way it is.

I will say: this feels like a really complex relationship where Brown assaulted her in some form (let's assume, best case, that he ejaculated on her back as a "joke"), she left him, then she came back to him in hopes of getting something - a relationship, money, game, whatever - and now is unhappy with how that turned out.

So what do you do when the victim suffered an actual assault, but upon reflection decided to keep working with the accused, but then thought better of it? I think Brown may be in real trouble civilly, but this would be an extremely difficult case to win criminally.
This is a good summary. And as far as Rule 11 goes, you're right. The plaintiff's lawyer is not required to go out and investigate the claim to any serious degree. That his client told him what happened, that she has correspondence that arguably back it up, and that it doesn't sound insane ('he assaulted me when were were orbiting in the International Space Station") is about all you need to not get disciplined in federal court based on the Complaint.
 
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