Judge to take a few weeks to rule on lockout - Printable Version
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Judge to take a few weeks to rule on lockout - mdrake34 - 04-06-2011 04:32 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- NFL players and owners took their fight to the courtroom and now will have to wait a few weeks for Judge Susan Richard Nelson's ruling.
Lawyers for the players asked a judge on Wednesday to grant a preliminary injunction that would lift a lockout imposed by owners three weeks ago after negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement broke off.
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ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter says the ruling in Wednesday's court date will be immediately appealed by the losing side. No matter what happens, Schefter doesn't expect the lockout to end until later in the year.
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Before adjourning, Nelson implored the sides to try to settle the issue out of the courthouse, but said she would likely issue a ruling in a "couple of weeks."
Named plaintiffs Mike Vrabel, Ben Leber, Vincent Jackson, Brian Robison and Von Miller were joined in court by veterans Tony Richardson and Charlie Batch and Hall of Famer Carl Eller. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, the three highest profile plaintiffs, did not attend.
The court appearance was the first round between the NFL and its locked-out players in their legal fight over the future of the $9 billion business -- including the 2011 season.
The players say the lockout is causing "irreparable harm" to their careers. The injunction request accompanies the antitrust lawsuit filed against the league after labor talks broke down on March 11.
"All of these players are being affected every day by being locked out," James Quinn, a lawyer for the players, argued on Wednesday.
The owners say the court does not have jurisdiction to issue the injunction while the National Labor Relations Board is considering an unfair labor complaint. They characterize the players' decision to decertify the union "a sham" that compromised the collective bargaining process.
The league says it has the right to keep players from working and says the court must wait until the NLRB rules on its claim that the players didn't negotiate in good faith.
David Boies, an attorney for the NFL, argued that the players are still acting like a union, saying the NFLPA is funding the litigation and has set up other services for the players as if it were still a fully formed labor entity.
"They're financing this lawsuit," Boies said. "They're saying, 'We're no longer a collective bargaining agent, but we're going to continue to do all these things."
Quinn dismissed the accusation, pointing to a vote that every player took to approve decertification.
"It's not some kind of tactic. It's the law," Quinn said. "It's what we're allowed to do."
The fight is complicated and perhaps uninteresting to the average football fan when the scheduled start of the season is still five months away. But the fate of everyone's favorite team hangs in the balance.
"Even though football is enjoying this unprecedented popularity ... nothing is invulnerable," said David Allen Larson, a professor of labor and employment law at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn..
It's the first work stoppage in the NFL since the 1987 strike -- and the first in any major U.S sports league since the NHL's lockout-lost 2004-05 season. The players balked at more financial concessions when the owners wouldn't open their books, and the owners insist the decertification of the union is a sham cooked up only to apply leverage in the fight.
Now, they don't even agree on which laws apply to the case, with the owners arguing for labor law and the players preferring antitrust rules.
Nelson pressed Boies for much of the morning, asking if the antitrust exemption the league currently enjoys applies to a lockout after the union has decertified.
"The very fact that the union planned to do this affects what they do in the collective bargaining process," Boies said.
Nelson responded that decertification is fair because the union gives up certain rights as well, including the right to strike.
The winner would have leverage whenever talks on a new collective bargaining agreement resume. However, whatever Nelson decides likely will be appealed.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
RE: Judge to take a few weeks to rule on lockout - DemBirds - 04-06-2011 04:40 PM
So, the day after the draft happens he'll rule against the lockout and free agency will start and we will have already attempted to fill all needs (and probably whiffed on a few) and not sign anyone. Woot!!!
RE: Judge to take a few weeks to rule on lockout - g-dawg - 04-06-2011 05:19 PM
(04-06-2011 04:40 PM)DemBirds Wrote: So, the day after the draft happens he'll rule against the lockout and free agency will start and we will have already attempted to fill all needs (and probably whiffed on a few) and not sign anyone. Woot!!!
uggh! agreed. if you are not going to rule prior to the draft, then take your dayum time.....
...dumb ass judge - you know she doesn't know an F'ng thing about football. This is what happens when players/owners cannot get the F along - they get to let a dayum women decide.
RE: Judge to take a few weeks to rule on lockout - papachaz - 04-06-2011 05:53 PM
(04-06-2011 05:19 PM)g-dawg Wrote: uggh! agreed. if you are not going to rule prior to the draft, then take your dayum time.....
hey hey, don't lump all women together, i'd put Tandy up against any man i know as far as football knowledge goes,and i doubt she's the only woman like that. I wish she could talk to the judge, to give a true fan's point of view!