The NFL has a friend in the NHL.
That’s why the National Hockey League has filed an amicus curiae brief (a friend-of-the-court brief) to support the NFL in its appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in its judicial fight against the NFL players.
We already told you about the brief the NFL submitted to the Court today and all the points the owners wanted to make as it tries to convince the three judges to overturn Judge Susan Nelson’s decision to end the lockout.
Today, the NHL – which, for the record, locked out the players for the ENTIRE 2004-05 season (counsel Bob Batterman also worked with the NHL then and works with the NFL now) – states the following:
(The NHL) has a direct interest in ensuring that the determination of terms and conditions of employment for NHL players is the product of a bona fide labor process rather than the "lever" of potential antitrust liability. … Yet, under the district court's decision and rationale, a group of employees can, at any time and for any reason, insinuate the antitrust laws into the dynamics pursuant to which new terms and conditions of employment are negotiated and determined. All a union has to do is have its members "disclaim" union representation, simultaneously reconstitute itself as an employee "association," and then ask the court to immediately enjoin any joint labor activity of the employers (e.g., including the implementation of a lawful lockout) by filing a treble damages antitrust complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction. The NHL respectfully submits that this cannot be the state of the law.
In other words: the NHL is spouting the NFL line about how the only way to get a new CBA complete is through collective bargaining and not through the judicial system.
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