Tag:Susan Nelson
Posted on: April 21, 2011 9:56 am

Report: Nelson's ruling could come Monday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Two weeks ago, Judge Susan Nelson said that it would take her a few weeks to rule on the permanent injunction request filed by the players’ attorneys in the Brady v NFL case.

NFL Labor
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News is hearing Nelson will rule Monday.

Myers writes (and anybody who has followed this case would probably agree) that the players are heavy favorites to win a favorable ruling from Nelson, but this won’t mean much because the owners will immediately appeal the decision (and vice versa if the owners win the ruling).

The winner of the appeal, then, will have an untold amount of leverage, especially since the owners and the players won’t return to the negotiating table until May 16.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 20, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 4:26 pm

NFL-NFLPA mediation breaks until mid-May

Posted by Andy Benoit
M. Vrabel (US Presswire)
Wednesday was a busy day in the NFL’s labor wars. It ended with mediation being adjourned until May 16. This according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash says the break is due, in part, to Judge Arthur Boylan’s schedule. (But many are wondering, if that’s true, then why was Boylan assigned to mediate the talks in the first place.)

While the owners and NFLPA are off on their separate ways, Judge Susan Nelson is expected to rule on the pending motion to lift the lockout.

This wasn’t the only news from Wednesday. It was reported earlier that 70 mid-tier NFL players have broken off and are seeking their own legal representation in an effort to gain a seat at the negotiating table.

Mike Vrabel responded to this report by telling Breer, “We’re players here to represent players and De works for us. They do [have a seat]. And if they’re unhappy with that seat, we have to vote in a new executive committee, and a new board of reps.”

In other words, Vrabel admitted that the decertified union is still acting as a union, which is not supposed to the case. The owners may jump all over this blunder in the coming days.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 1:12 pm

Report: major internal rift in NFLPA

Posted by Andy Benoit

We could soon see the first significant chink in the armor of one of the two sides in the ongoing NFL labor battle. Danieal Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reports that a group of about 70 “mid-tier” NFL players have broken away from the NFLPA's legal efforts and committed to a law firm in an effort to gain a seat at the mediation table.

NFL Labor

These players are not contesting Brady v NFL, they’re just demanding a seat at the negotiating table. The players are said to be upset that the labor talks in March broke off. They are expected to file a motion by week’s end seeking intervention from Judge Susan Nelson.

This is the first sign of serious internal rift on the NFLPA’s side. There are over 1,500 individuals on the NFLPA and just 32 individuals on the owners’ side. Thus, the likelihood of internal strife is much greater for the NFLPA. Chances are, the owners have been waiting for this kind of drama to arise.

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Category: NFL
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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Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: April 14, 2011 11:49 am

Mediation underway; four owners attending talks

Posted by Andy Benot

Thursday is the start of the court-ordered resumed mediation between the NFL and NFLPA (kickoff time 10:00 a.m. EST). This time the talks are taking place in Minnesota in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

NFL Labor
According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, four NFL owners are attending the Thursday session: Robert Kraft of the Patriots, Jerry Richardson of the Panthers, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Art Rooney of the Steelers. Also in the room are Roger Goodell, NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash and, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Falcons president Rich McKay.

Judge Susan Nelson, who ordered this mediation, has required that whoever is on hand must have the power of full authority. In other words, the individuals in the room must be able to work out whatever (if any) deal their side is willing to do.


UPDATE 10:19 a.m. EST: Breer reports that two of the plaintiffs in the Brady v NFL case are in the mediation: Mike Vrabel of the Chiefs and Ben Leber of the Vikings.

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 7:21 pm

Judge gets introduction before the mediation

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The first day of the next round of mediation between the NFL and the NFLPA began today in the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, and there was HUMONGOUS news.

No, not really. Actually, it sounded like it was kind of a nothing day, much like that first day of class where the teacher tries to learn your name while passing out the syllabus before everyone is dismissed early. Except in this case, the judge met with the attorneys from the Brady v NFL and the Eller v NFL for the first time since the two cases were consolidated by Judge Susan Nelson.

"The mediator was very open, it was a very constructive session, he heard from the Brady plaintiffs and the Eller plaintiffs as to what issues they considered that need to be addressed during mediation," Michael Hausfeld, lead attorney for the Eller class, told NFL.com’s Albert Breer. "The mediator intends to have the same type of session tomorrow with the league (counsel), and then hopefully to bring everybody together on Thursday to see what areas of agreement can be achieved, and how quickly."

Perhaps the most important aspect of today’s meeting was to get Boylan up to speed on how the consolidation between the two cases will work. By Thursday, though, mediation should be in full throttle.

Which likely won’t lead to much of anything happening, like, for instance, the lockout being lifted. But still, a nation full of NFL fans can dream.

Meanwhile, we wait for Nelson to rule on the antitrust lawsuit

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Posted on: April 11, 2011 4:35 pm

Hot Routes 4.11.11 kick off week with legal news

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

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