Tag:George Cohen
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 11, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 3:45 pm

Mediator appointed for NFL and NFLPA

Posted by Andy Benoit

Judy Batista of the New York Times reports that Judge Susan Nelson has appointed Chief Magistrate Arthur Boylan to handle the mediation between the NFL and NFLPA. The sessions will begin on Thursday.

This can be considered a win for the players. They wanted mediation to be under the umbrella of the court, rather than having a repeat round with George Cohen.

Boylan was appointed Magistrate Judge in 1996. He’ll oversee the discussions in his chambers on Thursday. He cannot force the parties to come to an agreement, but he wields considerable power in the proceedings. As legal expert Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains, “In the federal system, magistrate judges typically handle discovery disputes and other low-level matters.  Thus, the mediation will occur before someone who potentially will have a direct role in the litigation moving forward, which means that any rudeness or misbehavior could, as a practical matter, work against the party who acts up.”

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Posted on: April 7, 2011 5:48 pm
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Posted on: April 7, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 2:02 pm

Players letter to NFL requesting mediation

Posted by Will Brinson

CBSSports.com has obtained a copy of the letter that the players in the Brady v. NFL antitrust case sent to Judge Susan Nelson requesting federally mandated mediation.

Dear Judge Nelson:

We are writing in response to the Court's suggestion that the parties engage the services of the federal court in Minnesota in an effort to mediate and settle the current litigation. We take your comments regarding protecting the parties position to heart. As class counsel on behalf of the Brady class, we think this is an excellent suggestion and are prepared to engage in such mediation without delay.

Our agreement is, of course, contingent on the NFL defendants'  agreement that they will not attempt to use this, our willingness to mediate, against the Brady class in some way, for example by arguing that such mediation efforts constitute "collective bargaining" or otherwise arise out of a "labor relationship."

Very Truly Yours,
Barbara P. Berens

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Posted on: April 7, 2011 1:53 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 2:22 pm

Source: Players send NFL letter asking to mediate

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (2:00 PM EST): CBSSports.com has obtained a copy of the players' letter to Judge Nelson and the NFL's counsel requesting mediation.

During yesterday's lockout hearing, Judge Susan Nelson urged both sides on the Brady v. NFL case to proceed with settlement talks -- in the manner of federal-court monitored mediation -- while she took a few weeks to make her ruling.

Predictably, the NFL wasn't particularly gung-ho about the idea of engaging in binding mediation with Judge Nelson presiding (though the players, obviously, were).

Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reported that the players were expected to send a letter to the NFL asking to begin federal mediation.

We've confirmed, via sources close to the situation, that the players are indeed sending such a letter to the NFL on Wednesday afternoon.

It probably won't matter much, as the NFL -- even with the formal request -- is unlikely to acquiesce and enter into such mediation.
NFL Labor

In fact, Mullen's also reported that the NFL will send their own letter to the players in Brady, requesting that the two sides resume mediation under the watch of George Cohen of the Federal Mediation and Counseling Services in Washington, D.C.

Again, no surprise there. What makes the NFL's case here a bit problematic is that the federal judge watching over the antitrust case didn't request that the two sides begin mediation with Cohen.

And though she'd probably be okay with any talk of settlement, it's unlikely to happen. As we detailed yesterday, there's a serious issue of semantics at hand when it comes to the way can even begin to settle.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:12 pm

NFLPA to pay players with lockout fund on 4/15

Posted by Will Brinson

Times are tight for NFL players -- even though it's perceived that they make piles of money (and many of them do), many players live check-to-check. Which is why the NFLPA established a "lockout fund" with which to begin paying players.

And, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the players will begin receiving those payments on April 15. LaCanfora cites an NFLPA source as well as an email that was sent to the players recently.

"We are e-mailing you to inform you that the NFLPA Board of Player Directors approved the payout from the Lockout Fund to begin on April 15, in six installments or until the lockout ends. In order to start receiving your payments, please fill out the attached direct deposit enrollment form and return it to us with a voided check from your checking account or bank letter verifying the account information. We will e-mail you at the address that you provide on the form when payments are sent to your bank account.

"Please note that any other future payments that you may receive from the NFLPA or NFL PLAYERS Inc (for example player marketing deals or royalty payments) will be deposited into this account and you will be notified via email of the deposit."

The maximum total payment made to a player -- over the course of the six installments -- would reportedly be $60,000, utilizing funds that were compiled during the 2009 and 2010 seasons via players' dues and rights' fees.

A player who was on a 53-man roster for the full length of those seasons would reportedly be eligible to receive the maximum sum of $60,000.

The payments to the players really establishes two things about the current state of NFL negotiations.

One, this lockout wasn't unexpected. But we already knew that -- both sides are doing a dance that they've been rehearsing for quite some time.

And two, DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA did a hell of a job planning ahead for this scenario. $60,000 is quite a step down for many players, but it's still money coming in, which is critical because it offsets money going out.

And that means the players will continue to have some leverage in being able to avoid work and, most importantly paychecks.

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Posted on: March 28, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 10:33 pm

April 27th the deadline for lockout ruling?

Posted by Will Brinson

On Monday, Tom Brady, et al, (i.e. all the players suing the NFL) filed a reply with the Minnesota district court related to their Motion for Preliminary Injunction against the NFL.

A hearing will take place on April 6, but the question everyone wants to know is, "When will the court make a ruling?" (You may not know it, but you want the answer to this -- it could decide the fate of NFL football in 2011.)

Well, it warrants mentioning then that the Plaintiffs (the players) and the Defendants (the NFL and its clubs) have agreed to an extension of time with which the Defendants can answer the Plaintiffs' complaint. (Or, to put it more simply: the NFL gets 30 days to respond to the players' lawsuit; both sides have agreed to add more time to that.)

CBSSports.com has obtained an Order on Stipulation for Extension of Time whereby Jeanne J. Graham, the United States Magistrate Judge for Minnesota, gives the NFL until April 27 to respond to the players' complaint.
NFL Labor

Why does this matter? Well, the NFL will have its legal response ready before then; but it stands to reason that if both sides -- and the court -- have agreed to extend the time period with which the NFL can answer until April 27, that we'll have a ruling on the Injunction by then.

That's because if the Plaintiffs' motion is granted, the lockout will be declared illegal. The NFL will then likely appeal the ruling. (Same for the players, in the event that the lockout is declared legal.)

But, most importantly, the ruling that stems from the hearing on April 6 will dramatically affect the case and it's timeline moving forward -- though there's no guarantee that we know anything by April 27 (which just so happens to be right before the draft), there's a very good chance that we do.

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Posted on: March 15, 2011 12:22 am

Report: Owners have cash to last through season

Posted by Will Brinson

The ruling where Judge David Doty shut down the NFL owners' ability to use more than $4 billion in television contracts during any work stoppage quickly rid the world of any notion that the billionaires could last two years without football.

I mean, they could, but not without hemorrhaging cash. However, a report Monday in the Wall St. Journal indicates that the gentlemen who run the 32 NFL franchises could in fact last one full season without football.

The WSJ report notes that the league would only need that money "if the labor strife drags on into the 2012 season" because "owners have already set aside enough money to cover them in case the 2011 season is cancelled."

That the NFL has a contingency plan for not being able to use the $4 billion isn't shocking, because Greg Aiello mentioned as much almost immediately following Doty's ruling. Also, the gentlemen in question are billionaire; they didn't gain that status without knowing a) to always have a backup plan and b) how to save money.

And they can almost certainly weather the financial storm of an NFL-less world than most of the players in the league. But that doesn't mean that not making a pile of money during the 2011 season is something that the owners want to see happen.

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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