After NFL Concussion Settlement, Feeding Frenzy of Lawyers and Lenders – New York Times

By KEN BELSONJuly 16, 2017

The sales pitches were filled with urgency and emphasized familiarity. Act now or risk missing out on millions of dollars. Trust us because we are part of the “N.F.L. brotherhood.” “You have nothing to lose,” a former N.F.L. quarterback implored in one, “but money you’re entitled to and that you earned the hard way.”

The pleadings are aimed at former N.F.L. players who stand to receive checks from the largest legal settlement in sports history, a pool of money that may top $1 billion for retirees who sued the league for lying to them about the dangers of concussions and getting their heads pounded on the field.

Some players may get very little, but others with severe neurological diseases may receive as much as $5 million. Now lawyers, lenders and would-be advisers are circling, pitching their services and trying to get a cut of the money.

It may be standard practice for big legal settlements, but the fact that many players are cognitively impaired and may struggle to understand the terms of the services offered to them has raised alarm among player advocates, legal ethicists and the lawyers for the players who sued the N.F.L.

“I’ve been doing this litigation for a long time, there’s always been a certain amount of stuff going on, but I’ve never seen anything like this by a multiple,” said Christopher Seeger, a co-lead counsel for the players, who has received dozens of complaints from players and others about companies pitching sometimes dubious services. “There’s a sex appeal to representing N.F.L. players, and they are so identifiable, so these companies who are predatory, it is easy for them to be successful. Most of these guys are broke, so they’re vulnerable.”

While some of the firms may provide valuable assistance in complicated cases, others appear to be pitching services

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