Tag:Judge Doty
Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:01 pm

Lockout ruling to speed up talks or a Doty hammer

Posted by Will Brinson

When we recently asked seven important lockout questions, one of them dealt with the rulings that were "hanging out there" from U.S. District Judge Doty and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The latter, as we know by now, has been handed down, making the lockout legal, and it's quite possible that Doty's ruling could come soon as well.

But that probably hinges on whether the owners attempt to use the circuit court's ruling as a true source of leverage in the talks that are ongoing Friday and could (should?) continue through the weekend.

See, the owners have a choice, what with the lockout ruling coming down in their favor in the middle of negotiations: They can sit on it or they can use it when they walk into the room with the players.
NFL Labor

If the former happens, it's a good thing; the negotiations will get a kick in the rear vis-a-vis the players' concern that the lockout could extend into perpetuity. And nothing will have actually changed, because everyone expected this ruling in the owners' favor.

Though -- it's worth noting -- the fact that the Eighth Circuit was wise enough to leave open the NFL's legal risk should they lose a full season is tremendous, because it doesn't give anyone incentive to miss a large chunk of football.

If the latter happens, we should fear for the future of football, and we should also expect to see Doty drop a hammer in the form of the television contract rulings. If the owners attempt to maximize the negotiating power a legal lockout gives them, the only way for the players to truly swing the momentum pendulum back to the middle is Doty giving them a big ruling on the television contracts.

Hopefully, it won't come to that, and both sides will see how important it is to get a deal done as soon as possible.

But if they don't play nice in the face of the latest legal ruling, there's a very good shot at Doty dropping a hammer that could truly create labor chaos.

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Posted on: March 12, 2011 2:30 pm

Players filed lockout injunction against NFL

Posted by Will Brinson

It might be Saturday, but the public relations machine for both the NFL owners and the trade association formerly known as the NFLPA is in full swing. And so is the legal maneuvering, as the players have already filed an injunction to prevent the NFL from locking them out.

CBSSports.com has obtained a copy of the "Motion for Preliminary Injunction" filed by plaintiffs Tom Brady, et al, and the basis is pretty simple: the plaintiffs/players want to stop a lockout before it happens.

Of course, the lockout happened anyway, because the NFL feels it's within legal rights to lock out the players. (The NFL feels this way because it believes that the NFLPA's decision to decertify was a "sham.")

The players' claim is that "a group boycott and price-fixing agreement" amongst the 32 NFL teams (aka a "lockout") violates the Sherman Antitrust Act in that it results in the "restraint of trade or commerce among the several States."

That means some time next week, a clerk in the Minnesota District Court will likely schedule a hearing (likely in front of Judge David Doty) to determine whether or not to grant the players' injunction.
NFL Labor

If Doty grants the injunction, the lockout will be lifted and we'll be en route to having football in 2011. However, the NFL, if they lose, is all but guaranteed to appeal, so there's no need to get too excited. If the NFL wins in front of Doty, the players are also all but guaranteed to appeal.

But that's all got to play out in the courts. In the meantime, we're sure to hear plenty of rhetoric from both sides about who's fault it is that we're even discussing a court case involving football. But the fact that a) the players prepared this motion in the first place and b) they did in fact need it because the NFL locked them out should remind everyone that this process isn't completely unexpected in the least by either party.

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