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Tag:DeMaurice Smith
Posted on: May 3, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 6:11 pm
 

8th Circuit grants NFL expedited appeal

Posted by Will Brinson

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the NFL's request for an expedited appeal, and will hear arguments from the two sides on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 10 a.m. CDT. No, this does not mean the lockout is lifted or -- ahem -- locked in.
NFL Labor

It simply means that the Court of Appeals is willing to handle this appeal in a "typically" (as Clerk of Court Gans has previously told us) speedy fashion. The ruling on the temporary stay will likely come before this Friday, when the Court of Appeals will decide whether or not players will remain locked out between then and the date of the ruling on the June 3 hearing.

The league wants the court of appeals to overturn Judge Susan Richard Nelson's ruling in Minnesota District Court. The players, obviously, want the opposite.

There are some other scheduling notes along with the Judge's Order for the expedited appeal: Friday May 9 is the deadline for the NFL's Opening Brief to be filed; Friday, May 20 is the deadline for the players' Response Brief; and Thursday, May 26 is the deadline for the NFL's Reply Brief.

The Judges hearing the case -- Bye, Colloton, and Benton -- will then hear 30 minutes of oral arguments from each side on June 3 and rule some time (shortly, one would presume, though the complexity of the case could delay that as much as several months) thereafter.

Absolutely worth noting is that Judge Bye was the dissenting judge in the ruling that put the lockout back in place. The Court of Appeals will rule soon on the issue of a permanent stay.

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Tom Brady understands his place in labor history

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Tom Brady hasn't said much, if anything, about his signing on to be the lead plaintiff in Brady v. NFL, but during an appearance at an Under Armour event at Chelsea Piers in New York City, he made it clear that his decision to put his name at the forefront of wasn't really that difficult.

"Was it difficult?" Brady asked. "I'm always trying to figure out what the right thing is.

"Look, I've been very fortunate as a player to sign the contracts that I've signed and to be in the position I've been in as a leader and to lead."

Brady clearly understands his place in history too; being the lead plaintiff in such a case not only means he'll go down in legal history, but also in terms of someone who represents the interests of the players at large. In fact, he directly cited the man who introduced him at the Under Armour event, Boomer Esiason, and Boomer's role as lead plaintiff in the 1987 labor case, and how previous players helped pave the way for the current players to achieve what they have.

"[I'm in my position] because of Boomer Esiason, who was the lead plaintiff in 1987, and all the work he fought for current players," Brady said. "So it's really a lasting legacy that Boomer's had. So when the opportunity was presented to me and someone like Peyton [Manning] and Drew Brees who are also very notable players in the league -- you know, we represent the entire group."
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The Pats' quarterback didn't take a contentious stance, though, with respect to the differences that the two sides have in reaching an agreement. Rather, he seemed to apply the "Patriot Way" to the discussion of what is absolutely a heated legal disagreement.

"I think that's the important thing to realize is that we're trying to bring reason and compromise to a very challenging agreement," Brady said. "This is not something that's easy. There's a lot that goes into it. I know a lot of people are hard at work. DeMaurice Smith has had a lot of meetings at Roger Goodell. Mr. Kraft is heavily involved, and everyone's trying to accomplish the same thing.

"Hopefully there's an agreement at some point soon."

More than anything else, Brady truly seemed to embrace and understand what his role as lead plaintiff entails. That's great news for the players he's representing, from his teammates to Brees/Manning and down all the way to relatively-unknown quarterbacks who might be drafted in the sixth round.

But considering his high profile in this issue, the calm rhetoric and optimism he exhibited -- while not out of the ordinary -- is great news for the same people for whom he was putting on event: the fans.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:34 am
 

NFLPA lawyers' memo to players and agents

Posted by Andy Benoit

The NFLPA believes that the lockout is over. Thus, they’re proceeding in such a manner. Below is a copy of a memo that lawyers Jim Quinn and Jeffrey Kessler sent to all players and agents. It is posted on NFLlockout.com (a site operated by the NFLPA) and could just be propaganda, but hey, propaganda has provided 90 percent of the lockout news these past few months, no?

TO:        NFL PLAYERS AND AGENTS

FROM:      JAMES QUINN & JEFFREY KESSLER (CLASS COUNSEL)

CC:        DEMAURICE SMITH, NFLPA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, NFLPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

RE:        ORDER DENYING STAY

Last night, Judge Nelson issued a 20 page decision denying the NFL’s request to stay (delay) the injunction she issued on Monday in the Brady v. NFL litigation that the NFL must stop the lockout.  The decision denying the stay is once again very strong, and rejected all of the NFL’s arguments.  Accordingly, the order ending the lockout is in full, immediate force.

The NFL has filed for an emergency stay with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, while the Eighth Circuit considers the NFL’s stay request. Unless and until such a request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 League Year now has to begin; the Clubs must open their facilities to allow players to work out, meet with coaches and otherwise perform their jobs; and the NFL and the Clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players.  It is our view that the NFL and the Clubs will be in contempt of court if they do not comply with the order unless and until they hear differently from the Eighth Circuit.  We will let you know later today what the NFL is going to do to comply with this order, and what the specific schedule will be going forward.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:30 am
 

Some teams 'not refusing' to talk to free agents

Posted by Will Brinson and Mike Freeman

On Thursday morning, the NFL said it would continue with the status quo , despite Judge Nelson ruling against their request for a stay. Unsurprisingly, the players disagree with their stance, and Jim Quinn and Jeffrey Kessler, attorneys for the players, sent out an email to all players and agents declaring they believe the league year to be open.

CBSSports.com has obtained a copy of that email correspondence, in which the NFLPA also states they believe the NFL will be in contempt of court if they don't open the league year immediately.

"Unless and until such a request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 League Year now has to begin. The NFL and the Clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players. It is our view that the NFL &the Clubs will be in contempt of court if they do not comply with the order unless and until they hear differently from the 8th Circuit."

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Now, this doesn't change a whole lot, really, because the NFL is probably just going to ignore the NFLPA's request to begin the year.

They're also probably just going to ignore any calls from agents and players,

However, sources tell CBSSports.com that "some team phones are ringing off the hook" with agents flooding teams with requests for free agent business. Additionally, those sources said that some teams are "not refusing" to talk about free agency at the moment.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 8:14 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:31 am
 

NFL: Clubs to 'continue to follow current rules'

Posted by Will Brinson

When one of the weirdest days in NFL history dawned Thursday morning, it seemed like the NFL might have to begin the league year. But the league told its clubs to keep on keeping on with the current -- read: lockout -- set of rules until otherwise notified.

It was presumed that the NFL might cave and open up in order to avoid any potential contempt of court or collusion charges from the players, but they're going to roll with the status quo for now.

"Clubs were notified last night they should continue to follow the current rules and practices until otherwise advised by our office," Aiello said, per Albert Breer of the NFL Network .

This puts the NFL in a curious position. Their plan is to wait for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on Judge Nelson's lockout lifting, which might work out fine for them ... if the Court of Appeals agrees with the NFL. (Many people, myself included, believe they will.)

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If the Eighth Circuit doesn't agree with the NFL, then they will face some potentially disastrous charges -- collusion, contempt of court? -- in relation to the Brady v. NFL antitrust case.

In the meantime, however, it probably means that you will not see any free agent signings. And you will not see any trades of players on draft day. And you will not see any signings of unrestricted free agents.

Unless some owner decides to go rogue anyway .

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Players request Judge Nelson orders start to year

Posted by Will Brinson

The chaos that erupted after Judge Susan Nelson ruled to lift the lockout on Monday somehow managed to escalate Tuesday, when Judge Nelson declined to rule immediately on a Motion to Stay filed by the owners, and some players began showing up at team facilities.

Things got ratcheted up a bit more on Tuesday, when the attorneys for the players filed a letter to Judge Nelson and a corresponding Order asking for clarification on her ruling yesterday.

CBSSports.com has obtained a copy of the letter, which is written from Barbara Berens to Judge Nelson, copies all counsel of record, and asks her to clarify the language relating to Federal Civil Rule 6(d)(1)(c), which states that the "Contents and scope of every injunction and restraining order ... [shall] ... describe in reasonable detail — and not by referring to the complaint or other document — the act or acts restrained or required."

Or, in layman's terms: "Now that the lockout's lifted, how do the two sides specifically proceed about their business?"

As we noted, she ruled that "the 'lockout' is enjoined" -- now the players' want Judge Nelson to clarify that by such a statement, she did in fact mean for the "league year" to begin.
Latest on Lockout

The NFL, per their statement, is currently waiting on the "dust to settle," and/or Judge Nelson to rule on their request for a stay. However, per the NFLPA's request and the Order they're filing along with the letter, the NFL, et al, has until 5:00 PM CST to respond to the request for clarification.

Which means chaos will likely run its course until Wednesday afternoon. Depending on how Judge Nelson rules on those issues, things could get even more bizarre in the hours before the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday.

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Posted on: April 25, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Brady v. NFL stipulation of time agreed on, again

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL-loving world waits on this Monday for news from Judge Susan Nelson as to whether or not the lockout will be lifted. While we wait on that ruling, though, CBSSports.com has learned that the two parties in Brady v. NFL have agreed to a second stipulation to extend the time in which the NFL (and therefore any subsequent defendants in the case) has to answer the plaintiffs' complaint.

This stipulation extends the time answer thru May 23, 2011.

However, that does not mean we won't get a Order from Judge Nelson this afternoon on the "lockout ruling" -- in fact, we still could.

What this does mean is that Judge Nelson is significantly more likely to issue a stay against the beginning of the NFL's season, which means it's unlikely that free agency, etc., will begin before the draft.

The timing of this sort of thing is never coincidental -- a few weeks ago, we also reported a stipulation that extended the time to answer thru April 27, 2011. As we said then, it was likely Judge Nelson would issue a ruling before that date, and it appears that's exactly what will happen now.

The May 23 date, in all likelihood, is designed to give at least a one-month stay in the time with which the NFL can appeal the ruling (or, should Judge Nelson rule in favor of the league, a time in which the players can appeal).

Having a finalized outcome relating to the "Lockout Ruling" is critical to the progress of this case, and therefore necessary before the defendants can proceed with their answer.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 9:23 pm
 

NFL, NFLPA will continue mediation Friday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After nearly 10 hours of negotiations today, the mediation session between the NFL and the NFLPA in the presence of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has ended. And, as we suspected, not many people are saying much of anything.

Although NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said the two sides would return to the courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We pledged confidentiality.”

As NFL.com's Albert Breer wrote earlier this evening, “I've been told talks upstairs have been ‘tough’ and there's lots of ‘fence-mending’ to be done.”

Still, it sounds like something productive occured.

"We had a full day. It was constructive to get together," said Pash, who was joined by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers owner Art Rooney and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "The chief magistrate judge is working very hard, and I give him a lot of credit for really trying to move the parties toward a solution."

OK, that sounds fine. But how long will this mediation attempt last? Until (fingers crossed!) there’s a resolution?

 "The court has indicated it wants to continue with everyone talking as long as it makes sense," said Michael Hausfeld, one of the attorneys for the players.

Hmm, that doesn’t really tell us much, does it?

Actually, the fact that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (who was joined by Vikings LB Ben Leber, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel and Hall of Fame DE Carl Eller) and Goodell – who had to step away from part of the bargaining session to join in on a conference call scheduled with 5,300 Browns fans – attended the mediation is a pretty good sign.

"I can tell you that it's a positive step when the parties are talking," Goodell told the Browns fans. "We saw the March 11 proposal as responsive to issues raised by the players and there are many attractive elements in it. ... Our entire focus is on getting a deal done."

Though these sessions were mandated by Judge Susan Nelson – who will eventually rule on the Brady v NFL case – it’s obviously positive that the two sides, once again, are meeting. And hope for an agreement of any sort between the two sides continues.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com