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Washington Football Team, Beth Wilkinson at odds over details of settled lawsuit

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine Alex Smith’s decision to retire from the NFL after 16 seasons and recall some of the most impressive moments of the QB’s career, highlighted by his postseason play.

It appears that one of the most efficient ways to guarantee a future legal fight with Washington owner Daniel Snyder is to agree to work for him. (That’s an attempt at humor, not an assertion of fact.)

Attorney Beth Wilkinson, who was hired by Snyder last year to investigate allegations of wrongdoing within the organization, has now been accused by the team of trying to unveil confidential information via a court challenge regarding sealed information relating to a past sexual harassment lawsuit.

Via, Wilkinson currently wants to expedite a hearing set for June 2 regarding redactions to information from a dismissed lawsuit that she believes is relevant to her investigation. She explained in a recent court filing that she has a trial in another matter that same day, and that the legal tug-of-war over the information has dragged on for too long. The team contends that an email from Wilkinson’s attorney should be regarded as a “threat” that allegedly indicates a desire to leak sealed information at the hearing.

In the email in question, Wilkinson’s attorney predicts that “any hearing on this [issue] could be a disaster for” the team.

Said the team in a court filing obtained by, “The only ‘disaster’ that could come at the hearing would be the public release of yet additional privileged and confidential information of the team, beyond that redacted by the magistrate judge. A prior hearing, originally open to the public, had to be precipitously closed because defendant’s counsel made reference to confidential information. A recurrence of that unfortunate result would indeed qualify as a ‘disaster’ for the team.”

Wilkinson responded by explaining that the use of the term “disaster” related not to the potentially unsanctioned release of information but to the reality that, “the more the parties are forced to engage on the issues, the more the team risks that the court will find that additional material should be unredacted.”

The two sides want information from a past sexual harassment lawsuit that was settled in 2009. The Washington Post has reported that the settlement appears to be the $1.6 million deal that accused Snyder of misconduct during a flight from Las Vegas to Washington.

The NFL has assumed responsibility for the Wilkinson investigation. Last month, 106.7 The Fan reported that Wilkinson’s report makes some strong recommendations regarding Snyder. The report was later clarified, with an explanation that the report was not final.