Tag Archive | "court decision for owners"

Judges side with NFL owners

Earlier this week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that the injunction granted against the NFL owners’ lockout of players is stayed on a permanent basis, until the legality of the lockout is determined.

On a 2-1 split vote, the judges voted in favor of overturning Judge Susan Nelson’s grant of an injunction against the lockout. The stay had recently been put back two weeks ago on a temporary basis until this full review of the issue was made by the three judges.

In overturning Judge Nelson’s decision to enjoin the lockout the two judges in favor had two theories. The first involves whether the league would suffer damage if forced to do business while there was no CBA in place while the second was a shot at Nelson’s authority to originally grant the injunction.

Regarding the issue of damage to the owners:

“[Nelson] gave little weight to the harm caused to the league by an injunction issued in the midst of an ongoing dispute over terms and conditions of employment.”

The court found irreparable harm to the players because the lockout prevents free agents from negotiating contracts with any team, but gave no weight to harm that would be caused to the NFL by player transactions that would occur only with an injunction against the lockout.

With respect to the lack of authority by Judge Nelson to issue the injunction, the majority said, “The district court reasoned that this case does not involve or grow out of a labor dispute because the players no longer are represented by a union. We have considerable doubt about this interpretation … [the Norris-La Guardia Act] does not specify that the employees must be members of a union for the case to involve or grow out of a labor dispute.”

There is a pending court date set for June 3 for the owners and players to argue the legalities of the lockout but until then it remains in effect until a decision is rendered by the same Eighth Circuit Court.

In the meantime, mandated mediation began on Monday in an effort to negotiate a new CBA. The parties (as of Monday) were making enough progress for ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio to report that a revised proposal may be given to the players.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

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