American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily told the story of Seeger Weiss’s efforts to protect retired NFL players and their families from predatory financial offers in an October 12, 2020 column.
After Seeger, as chief negotiator and co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, had reached a settlement to resolve In re National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, he began receiving phone calls from retired players about predatory financial offers they were receiving from their own lawyers. They were being offered small up-front payment in exchange for signing away the rights to the larger settlement, which would be paid out later.
“We were all concerned that players were signing these awful deals,” Seeger told Litigation Daily.
Seeger eventually filed a motion for sanctions against one of those lawyers, Tim Howard, in May 2018. “For a lawyer to encourage a client possibly suffering from dementia, who was so desperate for immediate cash that he would enter into a high interest rate assignment arrangement in order to obtain immediate cash advances, to also enter into such a risky investment using his retirement monies, is simply beyond the pale, particularly where the lawyer was affiliated with the investment firm,” Seeger said in the brief.
Eventually, Seeger handed his files over to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC brought fraud claims against Howard in August 2019 and, this month, settled with the lawyer. Howard agreed to pay nearly $400,000.
“I have seen enough in my career over 20 years…to know I have to keep my eye on these settlements,” Seeger told Litigation Daily. “If I hear things from clients, I’ve got to follow up on them.”
“I’m not putting settlements together for money to go to cheaters and frauds. We put this settlement together to help NFL players who needed it.”
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