Tag:Brady v NFL
Posted on: April 21, 2011 5:29 pm

The 70 breakaway players can't file suit yet

Posted by Andy Benoit

The 70 or so “mid-tier” NFL players who are seeking their own representation in Brady v. NFL will have to find another law firm if they want to get in on the labor negotiating action. The law firm they chose already represents the NFL Network and NFL Films in music licensing.

Thus, the law firm needed to get a waiver from the league granting them permission to represent the players. Danieal Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reports that the league has decided not to grant that waiver.

The NFL said, "We notified the law firm that while we do not know the specifics of the claims or the players who would be involved, we cannot consent to the firm’s request to grant a waiver. As a matter of policy, we do not believe it is appropriate to consent to firms bringing suit against the NFL while simultaneously representing league entities even on unrelated matters."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 19, 2011 9:46 am

Mediation resumes Tuesday with new faces

Posted by Will Brinson

Mediation in the Brady v. NFL matter resumes Tuesday, and there will be some changes in the people present for the two parties.

For starters, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith won't be present at the mediation, due to "a family medical emergency," per Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that the NFL's negotiating team will feature Commissioner Roger Goodell, lead counsel Jeff Pash, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, and Packers CEO Mark Murphy.

Out of the owners present, only Richardson -- considered perhaps the lead negotiator for the owners -- is a holdover from last week. And it's interesting that the group heading into the second week of court-ordered mediation is in stark contrast to the group (Bob Kraft of the Pats, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Art Rooney of the Steelers) that was in Minnesota last week.

Jones, as you'll recall, allegedly had a bit of a confrontation with the players when the two sides mediated before George Cohen in Washington, D.C. That's not to say this will end poorly, because however the two sides act over the course of the mediation ends up reflecting on their position to Judge Susan Nelson.

And maybe it's a good thing that a new group of owners gets to see the proceedings and gauge the NFLPA's position at this point in time through an in-person experience.

Smith's absence is regrettable, certainly, but a family illness is one of the things that get you excused from almost any mediation. It probably also means that we're unlikely to see any settlement on Tuesday.

But that was likely to be the case anyway -- as our own Mike Freeman wrote recently, this second round of mediation might theoretically hold more water because it's court-ordered, but it's just about as likely to produce a happy ending to this labor dispute as the UFL is to produce football that will satisfy America come the fall.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 5:32 pm

NFL releases brief for Brady v NFL

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During the first day of the owners meetings in New Orleans, the NFL distributed a 50-plus page brief for the Brady v NFL case in which the NFLPA is seeking a permanent injunction against the lockout imposed by the owners.

The Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio do a nice job of summarizing the brief and breaking it down.

The main points of the brief (which is basically the NFL’s side of the story) are:

NFL Labor
-A statute known as the Norris-LaGuardia Act prevents the federal court in Minnesota from deciding this case, because, as PFT writes, the statute “prevents any court from issuing an injunction against a lockout -- regardless of whether the NFLPA operates as a union or a trade association.”

-The court will have to abide by whatever the National Relations Labor Board rules in regard to whether the NFLPA can decertify – the NFL argues that decertification is a sham and it points to quotes by players and former players that back their claim that the union used it as  a bargaining tactic.

-The NFL says the NLRB will likely conclude that the players were not bargaining in good faith and that the NFLPA should return to the negotiating table immediately. The league also says the players aren’t likely to win their case because they didn’t wait until six months after the CBA had expired to decertify.

-One reason the district court could issue an injunction is because it has found that irreparable harm is being done to the players. The NFL argues that players could be compensated with money damages, meaning an injunction would be unnecessary.

Those are some of the basics, but I encourage you to check out the links above if you want less of the laymen’s terms and more of the high-minded talk (though it must be said that Florio does a pretty nice job making sense of what all of this means). 

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 12, 2011 10:53 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 11:04 pm

Doty not yet assigned to Brady v. NFL case

Posted by Will Brinson

Earlier Saturday, we tweeted that Judge Richard H. Kyle, the originally assigned judge to the Brady v. NFL case, was no longer assigned to the case, and that Judge Patrick J. Schlitz had been assigned to oversee the players' antitrust action against the NFL.

As it turns out, Kyle recused himself from the case because of a personal conflict with one of the firms involved. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Kyle cited 28 U.S.C. § 455 as the reason for leaving the case, which would involve him having some sort of conflict with the matter. The logical conclusion here is that Kyle practiced with the firm of Briggs & Morgan, who are representing the players in Brady v. NFL.

The case has, per legal documents, been reassigned to Schlitz. But the question everyone wants to know is, where's Judge David Doty? (If you missed it, he's the judge who ruled in favor of the NFLPA in the TV contract case.)

We inquired into that very subject earlier and were told that it's possible Doty could be given the case based on his prior NFL case work, but that it wasn't necessarily guaranteed.
NFL Labor

"Often times, though, if a new case is related to an older case, the judge from the initial case will be assigned to the current case too," Jeanne F. Cooney of the US Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota, told CBSSports.com. "However, Judge Doty is now on senior status and doesn’t get many cases. Moreover, even if he got those types of cases in the past, the court wouldn't necessarily assign them to him now because it does not assign cases based on subject matter."

The logical move is that Doty will be given the case, regardless of his senior status -- his extensive work with the NFL prior makes him a natural fit to take over the newest NFL-related litigation.

One point worth noting as well, too, is that Schlitz was appointed by George W. Bush. Presumably, that makes him a preferred judge for the league (as Florio noted when pointing this out, "he's likely not a liberal"). However, Doty himself is a Ronald Reagan appointee from 1987 -- he was nominated by a Republican senator. As Matt Jones and I previously discussed, his reputation as a "liberal" stems more from his rulings for the players than his political affiliation.

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