Fresh News: 8th Circuit Court Ruling

dreday

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The 8th Circuit Court has just ruled the NFL lockout to be legal, according to the NFL Network and Albert Breer.
While this ruling was expected and therefore does not end the current players strike, I believe it is significant because the organization formerly known as the NFLPA has now even less leverage with the NFL than it may have hoped. If the lockout had been lifted, then players would be able to practice and have contact with their coaches and the DeMaurice Smith (Union Boss) would have (according to his past thinking) felt that players’ careers would be in less jeopardy since they would be training and preparing.

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Geforce

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While this ruling was expected and therefore does not end the current players strike


The players are not on strike!!!
 

ckparrothead

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If Adam Schefter is correct that the judges have ruled that the lockout does not apply to rookies and free agents...then this is a more significant ruling than people realize and NOT one that favors the NFL as much as people think.

What it means is that the judges are ruling that free agents and drafted/undrafted rookies have every right to be in contact with and be signed by NFL clubs. And if the commissioner issues directives preventing clubs from doing so then that exposes the NFL to lawsuit from free agents, rookies and undrafted free agents that sue for treble damages for whatever they feel they're losing as a result of not being signed.

That's a significant legal exposure for the NFL.
 

mia4ever

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If Adam Schefter is correct that the judges have ruled that the lockout does not apply to rookies and free agents...then this is a more significant ruling than people realize and NOT one that favors the NFL as much as people think.

What it means is that the judges are ruling that free agents and drafted/undrafted rookies have every right to be in contact with and be signed by NFL clubs. And if the commissioner issues directives preventing clubs from doing so then that exposes the NFL to lawsuit from free agents, rookies and undrafted free agents that sue for treble damages for whatever they feel they're losing as a result of not being signed.

That's a significant legal exposure for the NFL.
+1
 

IDFinFan

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I don't really like the timing of this. I think we were close to a new CBA and I think this will delay that. Have a feeling lawyers from both sides will begin looking over this ruling and take time away from the negotiations. Maybe I'm wrong but I think this just pushed back everything.
 

ckparrothead

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Most seem to think it won't affect the negotiations. But at the very least I imagine it has to delay them a little while the lawyers digest the 34 page ruling.

I said that the 8th Circuit issued no language on the length of the labor exemption. Well, actually...they did. They said specifically "In particular, we express no view on whether the League's non-statutory labor exemption from the antitrust laws continues after the union's disclaimer."

Translation? The NFL is legally exposed to potential lawsuit and treble damages and could easily find themselves hung by the words of their own lawyers who argued in court before the 8th Circuit that the exemption should last at least 6 months.

So the reality is even taking aside the rookie/free agent thing...this is a ruling that preserves the balance of leverage between the two parties.

It's the rookie/free agent thing that is the hard-to-figure potential wrench in the gear works. I would argue that unsigned players should be fully free to negotiate and sign contracts with NFL teams, and that the lockout should only apply to them the moment they sign that contract.
 

Geforce

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I don't really like the timing of this. I think we were close to a new CBA and I think this will delay that. Have a feeling lawyers from both sides will begin looking over this ruling and take time away from the negotiations. Maybe I'm wrong but I think this just pushed back everything.

If CK is correct, I don't think this changes anything because the players under contract still would be locked out. The owners and players need a new CBA in place soon in order to have a full training camp and preseason.
 

ckparrothead

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Here's some much needed clarification on this rookie/free agent loophole:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...d-discourage-owners-from-dropping-the-hammer/

So basically they've left the ball in Judge Susan Nelson's court to forcibly begin free agency and the signing of undrafted/drafted rookies. She would have to engage in a hearing and while Florio says this could take weeks...I'm not so sure. Judge Nelson just got her @ss chaffed in this ruling by the NFL and the 8th Circuit and she has every motivation to expedite things ASAP and do exactly what the 8th Circuit just gave her the explicit freedom to do...forcibly lift the lockout as it pertains to free agents and rookies, therefore demanding that the NFL conduct "business as usual" for free agents and unsigned rookies.

Florio has the right of it that the net effect of this is probably more leverage- than action-oriented. It's something that should prevent the NFL owners from, as Florio calls it, "dropping the hammer" on negotiations, feeling like they've got the wind at their backs. It's an important aspect of the ruling that should help ensure that both parties continue negotiating as if nothing just happened. But should, does not mean will. And if there's any more hiccups in negotiations like the one seen last week, expect a filing for an expedited hearing in Judge Susan Nelson's court asking for the lockout to be lifted as it pertains to rookies and free agents. And expect Judge Nelson to issue a ruling very quickly.
 

luduporcu

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If Adam Schefter is correct that the judges have ruled that the lockout does not apply to rookies and free agents...then this is a more significant ruling than people realize and NOT one that favors the NFL as much as people think.

What it means is that the judges are ruling that free agents and drafted/undrafted rookies have every right to be in contact with and be signed by NFL clubs. And if the commissioner issues directives preventing clubs from doing so then that exposes the NFL to lawsuit from free agents, rookies and undrafted free agents that sue for treble damages for whatever they feel they're losing as a result of not being signed.

That's a significant legal exposure for the NFL.

That one Judge on the Eighth Circuit Court Of Appeals who had consistently voted w/the NFLPA also wrote what Attorneys call "dictum", complete w/dripping sarcasm. He observed that while the Anti-Trust case wasn't being tossed out YET (?), and could go foward, he viewed the NFLPA's "decertifying" as suspicious, since (a) the NFLPA had lived under the CBA for something like 18 years; (b) then a month before it's going to expire, the Union "decertifies"; and (c) almost immediately thereafter, the Union then "recertifies" after all the Anti-Trust paperwork is filed w/the Trial Court.

This leads me to beileve that, upon any appeal of a denied Motion To Dismiss the Anti-Trust case, the Eighth Circuit will reverse the denial of the Motion, and ORDER Judge NELSON to enter an Order of Dismissal, complete w/an Award to the NFL of "costs and reasonable Attorneys' fees"...only THIS TIME by a vote of 3-0.

"Hardball" by the Owners, may indeed be a-comin'!!! And if, in order to get redress of its grievance, the NFLPA has to try its luck in the Supreme Court of the United States, it'll be late 2015 before the dust finally settles. The Owners (I read somewhere) had accumulated a rather large "war chest" (and they'll need it!). Did the Union?
 

Locke

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That one Judge on the Eighth Circuit Court Of Appeals who had consistently voted w/the NFLPA also wrote what Attorneys call "dictum", complete w/dripping sarcasm. He observed that while the Anti-Trust case wasn't being tossed out YET (?), and could go foward, he viewed the NFLPA's "decertifying" as suspicious, since (a) the NFLPA had lived under the CBA for something like 18 years; (b) then a month before it's going to expire, the Union "decertifies"; and (c) almost immediately thereafter, the Union then "recertifies" after all the Anti-Trust paperwork is filed w/the Trial Court.

This leads me to beileve that, upon any appeal of a denied Motion To Dismiss the Anti-Trust case, the Eighth Circuit will reverse the denial of the Motion, and ORDER Judge NELSON to enter an Order of Dismissal, complete w/an Award to the NFL of "costs and reasonable Attorneys' fees"...only THIS TIME by a vote of 3-0.

"Hardball" by the Owners, may indeed be a-comin'!!! And if, in order to get redress of its grievance, the NFLPA has to try its luck in the Supreme Court of the United States, it'll be late 2015 before the dust finally settles. The Owners (I read somewhere) had accumulated a rather large "war chest" (and they'll need it!). Did the Union?

They can't order Judge Nelson to do anything. If they could, then they would have ordered her to reverse her decision on the ending of the lock out instead of issuing their own ruling on it. All they can do is come to their own conclusion...
 

Nublar7

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Here that? That is the sound of empty NFL stadiums on Sundays this fall. I have a bad feeling this is going to blow up the talks, regardless of what they are currently saying. Bad timing.
 

Locke

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Here that? That is the sound of empty NFL stadiums on Sundays this fall. I have a bad feeling this is going to blow up the talks, regardless of what they are currently saying. Bad timing.

Fiscally speaking, it is just as bad on the owners as it is the players if games are missed. A team like the Bills or Rams that relies on revenue sharing to keep going simply can't afford to go a year without revenue. A team like the Cowboys or Giants could probably survive a year off, but not the small market teams. Their insurance for that was that TV deal that got thrown out. Once that was gone, it was pretty much a done deal that games would be played. Since then, it has all been posturing and trying to gain leverage. It is absolutely no coincidence that we are almost done with the CBA now, almost the last minute before training camps start. Both sides were hoping the other side would blink and give them an extra chip at the bargaining table. That didn't happen, and now there is no more time for posturing or game-playing, so they are going into negotiations now because they have to. If a CBA isn't in place by the end of next week, I'd be ridiculously shocked...
 

luduporcu

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They can't order Judge Nelson to do anything. If they could, then they would have ordered her to reverse her decision on the ending of the lock out instead of issuing their own ruling on it. All they can do is come to their own conclusion...

They most certainly CAN order her. The language typically reads "Reversed and remanded, with order to the trial Court to enter an Order consistent with this decision". If you don't know what you're talking about, ask someone. This is not only "legalese", but a very SPECIALIZED legalese, to wit, Appellate Practice and Procedure.
 
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